Instagram influencers in health communication: Examining the Roles of Influencer Tier and Message Construal in COVID-19-Prevention Public Service Announcements

Jiemin Looi*, Deena Kemp, Yong Whi Greg Song

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study evaluates the efficacy of social media influencer endorsements for COVID-19-prevention public service announcements (PSAs) on Instagram and its underlying mechanisms. An online experiment (N = 239) tested how influencer tier (mega-influencer versus nano-influencer) and message construal (independent versus interdependent versus collective) of the PSA influenced individuals’ attitudes toward the PSA and their behavioral intentions regarding COVID-19 prevention. Participants perceived mega-influencers and nano-influencers to possess similar expertise, trustworthiness, and attractiveness. However, participants regarded nano-influencers to possess greater homophily than mega-influencers. Participants exposed to a nano-influencer’s PSA displayed greater intention to engage in COVID-19 prevention behaviors than those exposed to a mega-influencer’s PSA. Participants’ perceived homophily with the nano-influencer also mediated its effect on participants’ attitudes toward the PSA and behavioral intentions regarding COVID-19 prevention. In addition, participants evaluated the PSA with collective message construal more favorably than the PSA with independent message construal. Theoretical contributions, managerial implications, and directions for future research are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-32
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Interactive Advertising
Volume23
Issue number1
Early online date28 Nov 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Marketing

User-Defined Keywords

  • COVID-19
  • Instagram
  • health communication
  • influencer marketing

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