Examining the Effects of Blogger Type (Influencers vs. Celebrities) and Post Format in Instagram Marketing

Examining the Effects of Blogger Type (Influencers vs. Celebrities) and Post Format in Instagram Marketing

Pelin Ozgen (Atilim University, Turkey) and Amir Behrad Mahmoudian (ASAM, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3201-0.ch007
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Abstract

In the era where credibility of advertisements is decreasing and people are spending more time in social media compared to traditional channels, it is no surprise that marketing professionals employ social media as a new channel for communication. In this new media for communication, the conventional advertising techniques are also coupled with alternating methods such as product placements. In the light of these relatively new applications, the purpose of this study is to examine the effectiveness of marketing communications in social media under different message sources (celebrities vs. influencers) and with different message presentations. In order to serve that purpose, a 2X2 between subjects experiment is modelled with 399 respondents. The results show that a product is better advertised by an influencer rather than a celebrity and type of the blog post had no significant impact on the purchase intention.
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Introduction

For a brand to be successful, it has to communicate and engage with its target market. For years, advertisements have carried that burden to create a connection between customers and brands, however, it is well known now that the popularity and impact of traditional advertising is decreasing and other methods have emerged as an alternative to advertisements. Placing the brand in TV shows, in movies and lately in social media posts are the common examples for these methods. For instance, when someone, who does sports, comes across a web banner with Cristiano Ronaldo advertising a sugar free peanut butter, the brand of the peanut butter may not be kept in his mind. However, when that person goes to the gym and his personal trainer gives him a diet program with 30 grams sugar free peanut butter in every morning meal, also suggests for a particular brand of peanut butter, most probably he would keep that particular brand’s name in his mind and buy it at the first chance. Similarly, if that person comes across a post of an ordinary sportsman in his social media account, he would be more easily convinced to go to a market and buy the same peanut butter which was shared by the sportsman’s Instagram post. As seen in this scenario, the source of the post in social media might be perceived as “experts” while their opinions are treated as expert opinions. Therefore, it can be understood that, the perception of the audience and the impact of a message can vary according to the source it is given by.

In addition to the source, the medium is also important in marketing communication. In the new world, internet which enables people to connect from all around the world, plays a very significant role in the daily life as well as in business life (Holtz, 2002). People use internet for almost everything - such as networking, online shopping and to access information (Starkov, 2003). Recent statistics from Statista (2018) showing that the number of internet users worldwide was 3.9 billion in 2018, up from 3.65 billion in the previous year, signaling for a massive increase in only 1 year. Evidently people use internet more frequently since it is easier to access internet in comparison with the past. Today, almost everyone has a smartphone which is no less than a personal computer and therefore internet is available in full function 7/24. In addition to that, the peer pressure with modernization of countries pushes people to get used to get connected indefinitely (Statista, 2019). With all these factors, the popularity of some of the social network platforms got popular day by day (like Facebook got a big hit in 2004), and it is seen that this new phenomenon called as “Social Media” settled in the center of life, as if it would never leave (Kaplan and Haenlein, 2010).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Influencer Marketing: A win-win strategy where the influencer obtains a financial gain by placing a product in his/her post and company gets a chance to convince the audience more easily.

Influencer: A person, “social media celebrity,” is accepted as an opinion leader for some groups sharing the same interests.

Marketing Communications: Any activity a company makes to create a change in the attitudes or behaviors of the market.

Celebrity: A famous person- mostly performers of music, cinema, or TV.

Simple Product Placement: Using the product only as an object in decoration.

Direct Product Placement: Using or talking about the product.

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