Abstract

As technology and social media continue to further integrate themselves into everyday life, incredible platforms are dedicated to marketing to our rising generations (Spotswood and Nairn 2016). Inspired by these advancements, Influencer Marketing arose as a uniquely customer-centric approach (Bang and Lee 2016). Despite this approach’s growing popularity in today’s consumers (Sledgianowski and Kulviwat 2009), there is scarce research regarding how influencers as endorsers can cultivate levels of trust with online consumers. This research question emphasized finding literature exclusive to the significance of follower count as a quantitative social status, influencers as endorsers, and the relationships offered by different types of influencers. Inspired by the research question and enforced by previous literature, the study hypothesized high trust and favorability to influencers with a large following, less endorsements, and a socialite image. An electronically distributed survey, dedicated to testing the study’s hypotheses, randomly assigned subjects to one of eight scenarios presented as an influencer profile with varying titles, followers, and endorsements.

By conducting ANOVA tests, the data was analyzed to determine relationships between the varying interactions and output trust levels. Data analysis found insignificance in follower count and endorsement levels; however, significance was found within influencer type. The implications of this research go beyond academic contribution and can be observed from multiple perceptions. For both rising influencers and brands seeking to improve or begin strategies in influencer marketing, it is important to recognize factors that contribute to the perception of the consumer; these implications and opportunities for future research remain endless.

Semester/Year of Award

Spring 5-5-2022

Mentor

James R. Blair

Mentor Department Affiliation

Management, Marketing, and International Business

Access Options

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Honors Scholars

Degree Level

Bachelors

Department

Business

Department Name when Degree Awarded

Management, Marketing, and International Business

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)

4590

Presentation

https://www.canva.com/design/DAE8_A6-_Hc/FGWWwLN2xvc-Mup91v18Kw/view?utm_content=DAE8_A6-_Hc&utm_campaign=designshare&utm_medium=link&utm_source=publishsharelink

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