Exploring the nexus of social media influencers and consumer brand engagement

Man Lai Cheung*, Wilson K.S. Leung, Morgan X. Yang, Kian Yeik Koay, Man Kit Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Grounded in uses and gratification theory (UGT) and observational learning theory (OLT), this study aims to understand the impact of motivational factors on consumer-influencer engagement behaviors (CIEBs). Motivating factors, including entertainment, information seeking, reward and social interaction, are regarded as antecedents of consumers' OLT, as manifested by CIEB dimensions, including consumption, contribution and creation, and subsequently drive consumer engagement with the endorsed brands. 

Design/methodology/approach: A self-administered questionnaire was distributed to Malaysian social media users. A total of 263 responses were collected and analyzed using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) to examine the impact of motivational factors on CIEBs. 

Findings: The results show that the three dimensions of CIEBs can be predicted by different gratifications (information seeking, entertainment, reward and interaction). In addition, two of the CIEB dimensions, consumption and contribution, were found to have a significant positive influence on consumers' engagement with endorsed brands. 

Practical implications: This study provides insights into how social media influencers (SMIs) could lead to CIEBs by creating entertaining and rewarding content that facilitates social interaction between consumers. SMIs and marketers that encourage consumers to browse, comment and share SMI-created posts will enhance consumer engagement with the endorsed brands, as engagement is driven by the consumption and contribution to SMI-created content. 

Originality/value: SMI marketing is increasing, and many brands are beginning to rely more on SMIs to promote brands. Yet, there is a dearth of studies that have examined how SMIs play a role in affecting consumers' engagement with endorsed brands. This study contributes to the marketing literature by developing and empirically testing the research model. Results suggest that social interaction, reward and entertainment are key motivational factors that drive CIEBs, which, in turn, foster consumer engagement with endorsed brands.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2370-2385
Number of pages16
JournalAsia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics
Volume34
Issue number10
Early online date12 Jan 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Nov 2022

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • COBRAs
  • Consumer online brand-related activities
  • Consumer-brand engagement
  • Influencer engagement
  • Social media influencer

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