‘Impact of Influencers on Customer Behaviour in the Luxury Market and the Rise of Micro Influencers’
It’s essential that brands ensure their campaigns are appealing to a variety of micro-influencers that can offer a range of messages to relay to audiences.
As 2018 brings new targets and potential opportunities for businesses in the advertising space, it’s clear that Christmas 2017 lived up to its reputation as being one of the most competitive, and therefore expensive times of the year for brand advertising, in which marketers were tasked with solving the annual question of how to efficiently spend their budget over the festive period.
There’s no hiding the fact that influencers are now an integral part of the marketing mix for brands wanting to create high quality content and appeal to their target audience, ultimately helping to generate sales. Influencer marketing presents a unique opportunity for cost-effective advertising that was none more apparent than during the festive season, with half of UK young adults making purchases directly promoted by an online influencer.
Cost-effective at Christmas
A study by affilnet found that UK consumers aged between 18 – 30 were five times more likely to purchase something promoted or reviewed by an influencer. This supports the trend of consumers increasingly turning to social news feeds for gift ideas, with 49% of global surveyed shoppers agreeing that Facebook and Instagram are extremely influential, when it came to shopping during the festive season.
The influence of such platforms reflects the upwards trend in global purchasing conversions made on mobile devices, surpassing those on desktop globally for the first time in December 2016 with 53% of conversions reported through handheld devices. Furthermore, nearly 40% of global surveyed shoppers agreed that when it came to the festive shopping season, their mobile device allowed them to make a more informed purchasing decision. This could be due to the influence of social media news feeds that include convenient shopping ads, allowing for an easy click-through-to-purchase option.
In an age where consumers prefer to make their own purchasing decisions, influencers are quickly becoming the most powerful word-of-mouth marketing tool for brands. As a result, 92% of consumers are turning to the people they know for referrals, above any other source, generating twice the sales of purchasing through paid advertising. With this in mind, it’s essential for brands to understand and identify the right influencers for their target consumer that will generate the highest return on investment.
The rise of micro-influencers
Micro-influencers are an extremely rewarding marketing tool that drives 60% higher campaign engagement rates and are seven times more efficient that macro influencers per engagement.
82% of purchasers take recommendations from their favourite micro-influencers, according to research from Experticity. These can have an extremely high impact on marketing campaigns, thanks to the content they create, how they are trusted among their followers, and how they are not limited to one subject area. They can be found across a range of different verticals that can impact a customer’s decision, including food, travel, beauty and homewares.
Originally developed on Instagram, micro-influencers, with a following up to 100k, have been known to drive eight-times more engagement than celebrities do, due to a more intimate and trusting relationship with their followers. They are increasingly targeted towards a preferred audience; for the cost of one celebrity influencer, you can work with five micro-influencers who really get to the heart of the desired target market.
Many brands interpret big numbers to mean big results, with no consideration for whether they’ll be able to generate good, engaging content. Brands who operate on big budgets can work with a small handful of celebrity influencers with an individual following of over 250k+, but a call to action is much less persuasive when it’s directed at a large audience, and this persuasion continues to drop as the audience size grows.
A successful influencer campaign
With influencer marketing being the fastest growing and most cost-effective channel for brands wanting to promote their goods and drive sales, it’s essential that brands ensure their campaigns are appealing to a variety of micro-influencers that can offer a range of messages to relay to audiences.
Influencer marketing agencies can be extremely cost effective by ensuring a brand’s campaign is integrated across paid and owned media, helping to maximise value from their spend and reinforce existing conversations that influencers have started. Brands have missed opportunities when they’ve simply tried to tick the influencer marketing box, with no consideration of how content generated by influencers can serve alongside their wider marketing strategy.
As a result, a carefully managed and executed influencer campaign can extend your reach and build a wider audience, with the best recruited influencers, which is ever-more crucial for 2018 and a growing commerce calendar.
The ‘New Face of Luxury’ report – published by Fashion & Beauty Monitor in association with Econsultancy – delves into this topic, exploring why luxury is embracing this growing trend. To whet your appetite, here’s just four reasons.
1. Social media makes luxury accessible
There’s no doubt that social media has made luxury more accessible and appealing to everyday consumers. Now, shoppers aren’t required to enter a store to browse, meaning they can interact with and experience high-end brands on an entirely new level.
Of course, the open and large-scale nature of social means that brands runs the risk of appearing less exclusive – perhaps a reason why the industry has been reluctant to forge relationships with social influencers up until more recently.
Despite almost two-thirds of luxury brands being active within influencer marketing, 46% admit their influencer programme is a year or less than a year-old. Meanwhile, a further 28% say they have only used influencer marketing for two years or so.
Influencers have had a tremendous impact in the beauty category as they have reshaped the way consumers select brands, inform themselves about products and shape their looks” explains Leila Rochet-Podvin, founder of Cosmetics Inspiration & Creation, who will be monitoring the roundtable. Influencer marketing has become a key strategic area for brands as social media is becoming an essential source of information and the center of trust. NPD’s Makeup In-Depth Consumer Report 2016 highlighted that 92% of makeup users get information on beauty products from influencers’ YouTube videos.
At the next conference event of the MakeUp in LosAngeles, on February 7 at 2:45 pm, experts in the field will share their vision and discuss on the future of influencers.
Eric Briones, Author, Professor and Co-Founder of the Paris School of Luxury (aka @Darplanneur) will be the first speaker and will present “The Crisis of Influence – What Are The Future Challenges”. He will focus on deciphering the Generation Z’s behavior that he describes as the “Influencer Natives”.
Eric likes to describe himself as a cool hunter and a strategic planner who loves to shake ideas. He has a true passion for disruption and collaboration.
Eric is also a famous author. He has co-written several books: “Buzz Marketing” in 2002 by Eyrolles Karim B. Stambouli, “Generation Y and Luxury” in 2014 by Dunod with Grégory Casper (DCF Best Book Prize 2014) and in 2016 “Digital & Luxury”. Today, he is immerging himself in the next generation, the Gen Z.
Eric has also a strong academic career. He was professor of communications at MCI and MBA Moda Domani Institute, in charge of the Chair “Sociology andTrends.” Today, he is the Co-Founder and Professor of the Paris School of Luxury, responsible of the academic program.
After his MBA in Marketing and Commerce on the Internet (MBA-MCI) in 1997, Eric Briones joined Publicis as e-business and communication consultant. In 2001 he became Director of Strategic Planning Publicis e-brand, followed by Publicis & Nous in 2003. In 2005 Eric Briones created the Darkplanneur blog, a blog in the field of trends and strategic planning.
Eric Briones has worked with major luxury companies: Hermès, Louis Vuitton, Clarins, L’Oréal Luxe, Kenzo, Armani, SKP Beijing, Maserati, Kiton….
The second invited speaker is Conor Begley, Co-Founder of Tribe Dynamics, an industry leader in measuring social influencer engagement, particularly in beauty. Conor will provide his vision as expert of “The future of influencers according to Tribedynamics”.
The company measures Earned Media Value (EMV) to
Introduction With 2.7 billion users worldwide (Chaffey, 2017), social media opened up new ways for organizations to reach the consumer. This can be done through, for example, banner advertisements or creating brand pages on the different social media platforms. However, as Fournier and Avery (2012) state in ‘The uninvited brand,’ consumers are not always happy to see brand communications appear in their feed, as social media was created for people and not to sell products. Furthermore, the use of ad blockers is becoming more popular as the number of devices that use ad blockers has grown to 615 million in 2017 (Cortland, 2017), which makes it even harder to approach the consumer online and waiting for them to visit the brand page seems not to b 6 Therefore, a lot of organizations are using influencer marketing already, as 86% of marketers stated that they invested in influencer marketing in 2016 (Linqia, 2016). Another sign that influencer marketing is gaining in popularity is the emergence of ‘influencer agencies’ like ‘the Cirqle,’ that connect brands with influencers. According to Phua, Jin and Kim (2016) Instagram is the social media platform with the highest engagement measured as comments and likes per post.
Furthermore, with 800 million monthly active users measured in September 2017, it has doubled in two years time and is currently the fastest growing social media platform (Constine, 2017). Furthermore, Instagram is a social media platform where influencer marketing is thriving. However, between the numerous social media studies, there do not appear to be a lot of studies that investigated Instagram separately, let alone influencer marketing on Instagram. Therefore, the aim of this study is to elaborate on the effectiveness of social media influencers on Instagram. RQ 1: What is the effectiveness of influencer marketing on Instagram? A frequently mentioned reason for the effectiveness of using social media influencers as a marketing communication strategy, is that consumers perceive them to be a credible source. However, there is a lack of research that addresses the credibility of social media influencers (Djafarova & Rushworth, 2016). Furthermore, the Federal Trade Commission in the U.S. created a law that requires brand endorsers to reveal third-party influence (Arrango, 2009). Moreover, in Germany, so called ‘covert advertising,’ which is not revealing that content is sponsored while it actually is, is also forbidden by law (Fulterer, 2015). Yet, in the Netherlands, Reclamecode Social Media is still an advisory body that advises influencers to disclosure the sponsor (RSM, 2014).
Hence, this creates the need for research that examines the effect of these kind of decrees. Although there have been numerous studies that examined 7 source credibility, most of them focus on advertisement effectiveness in traditional media (Lee, Kim & Ham, 2016). Therefore, this study aims to clarify what the influence of disclosing a sponsor in an Instagram post is regarding the credibility of the influencer, together with how such a disclosure affects the overall effectiveness of Instagram posts. RQ 2: In what way does sponsorship disclosure influence the effectiveness of influencer marketing on Instagram? Lichtlé (2007) postulates that the arrangement of colour is an essential task for advertisers. In advertising research, there have been some studies that addressed the influence that the manipulation of the dimensions of colour (hue, brightness and saturation) can have on consumer attitudes and purchase intentions. However, the number of studies in this area is still limited and there is a need for more research in other contexts than print advertising (Panigyrakis & Kyrousi, 2015).
Furthermore, Instagram is especially focussed on the visual, as it is about users sharing their photos and videos. For that reason, it is essential to find out more about what impact certain visual elements like colour may have. Therefore, the current study objectifies to elaborate on how social media influencers can apply the manipulation of colour characteristics to increase effectiveness of Instagram posts. RQ 3: In what way do the colour characteristics influence the effectiveness of Instagram posts by influencers on Instagram? Whether a marketing communication is effective and will result in a positive attitude change of the consumer, is claimed to be highly dependent on how involved that consumer feels (Petty, Cacioppo & Schumann, 1983).
To what extent a consumer feels involved regarding an 8 object, depends on how high the personal, physical or situational relevance of the object in question is (Zaichkowsky, 1985). In case of influencer marketing, a consumer can feel highly or lowly involved with the object that is endorsed, which is in this case the brand. Although, the effectiveness of involvement has been widely addressed in advertising studies, it appears not yet to be applied to influencer marketing research. Therefore, this study aims to shed light on the consequences of the level of brand involvement that a consumer has in the context of influencer marketing on Instagram. Past studies suggest that there are significant differences in information processing between men and women (Goodrich, 2014). In general, it is assumed that men tend to be selective processers that base their decisions on heuristic processing and women are, on average, more comprehensive processors that tend to take into account all the available information (Darley & Smith, 1995).
The fact that most gender studies in the area of advertising research focus on how informational text that is given in an advertisement is processed (Keshari & Jain, 2016), there is a need for studies that address gender in other contexts. For that reason, the last objective of the current study is to find out what the influence of gender is concerning influencer marketing on Instagram. RQ 4: What is the influence of brand involvement and gender concerning influencer marketing on Instagram? 9 2. Literature review In order to answer the research questions, it is essential to clarify the different theoretical concepts that will have an influence on this process. The coming section will therefore be focussed on discussing different theories from past research surrounding these concepts.
As Instagram marketing is a form of social media marketing, the first section of part 2 will focus on social media marketing to briefly introduce the general concept whereupon this study will work towards a more specific context. Subsequently, the literature that is reviewed will form the basis for the expectations that will lead to the development of the hypotheses used in this study. 2.1 Social media marketing A frequently used definition of social media is provided by Kaplan and Haenlein (2010, p.61) who describe it as “a group of internet-based applications that build on the ideological and technical foundations of Web 2.0, and that allow the creation and exchange of user generated content.” Web 2.0 is the current condition of online technology compared to the early Web, typified by improved communication channels and greater user interactivity and collaboration (O’Reilly, 2009).
As the use of social media increases rapidly, not only existing social networkers, but also business and governmental organizations are starting to use them as communication tools (Kim & Ko, 2010). They appear in different kind of forms with the inclusion of weblogs, social blogs, microblogging, wikis, podcasts, pictures, video, rating and social bookmarking (Kim & Ko, 2012). Different from individual social networkers, organizations actively use social media for advertising and marketing as it provides a way to perform these activities with less cost and effort than before (Kim & Ko, 2010). Furthermore, as the amount of social media users is 2.7 billion, which is more than two third of all internet users (Smart Insights, 2017), nowadays social media is the place where the consumer is and 10 can be reached.
Therefore, brands created their own accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and other platforms (Godey et al., 2016). Social media marketing (SMM) is defined by Tuten (2008, p. 9) as “a broad category of advertising spending, including advertising using social networks, virtual worlds, usergenerated product reviews, blogger endorsement, RSS feeds of content and social news sites, podcasts, games, and consumer generated advertising.” Ismail (2016) states that SMM activities should be seen as part of online marketing activities that replenish the traditional web-based promotion strategies, such as e-mail newsletters and online advertising campaigns. More importantly, SMM is typically characterized by its two-way communication, which means that the interactivity between the brands and the customer has significantly increased, and replaced the old one-way communication (De Vries et al., 2012; Kim & Ko, 2011).
This increased interactivity means that companies now better listen to their customers and in this way brands and customers work together to create new products (Kim & Ko, 2011). Furthermore, an important development is that social media has transformed consumers, in a sense, that they have become marketers and advertisers themselves. They are sharing and exchanging online information regarding companies, products and services (Akar and Topçu, 2011). 2.2 SMM and the influence on attitude towards the brand Research suggests that the use of SMM positively influences the attitudes consumers have towards the brand performing those marketing activities (Abzari, Ghassemi & Vosta, 2014; Beneke, Blampied, Miszcak & Parker, 2014; Bruhn, Schoenmueller & Schäfer, 2012). As discussed in part 2.1, different scholars argue that SMM leads to an interactive conversation between the brand and the customers instead of a one-way communication executed by the brand only (De Vries et al., 2012; Kim & Ko, 2011).
Beneke 11 et al. (2014) argue that the latter discussed possibility to be interactive with the brand, is an important factor that drives positive attitudes towards the brand. This is also stated by two other studies that found that interactivity indeed positively influences the consumer attitude towards brand communications (De Vries et al., 2012; Liu & Shrum, 2002). Brand attitude has already been subject of marketing research for many years and for this reason there are several definitions provided by different scholars. Whan Park, MacInnis, Priester, Eisingerich and Iacobucci (2010, p.1) conceptualized brand attitude strength as “the positivity or negativity (valence) of an attitude weighted by the confidence or certainty with which it is held.” Perhaps the most concrete definition is given by Mitchell and Olsen (1981, p.319), who are frequently cited in previous studies that address brand attitude, and describe the term as a “person’s overall evaluation of the brand.” Brand attitude strength is said to be a predictor regarding consumer’s positive behaviours towards firms including brand consideration, intention to purchase, purchase behaviour and brand choice (Annie Jin, 2012; Priester & Nayakankuppam, 2004; Mackenzie & Spreng, 1992; Schivinski & Dabrowski, 2016).
In addition, the results of a study performed by Baldinger and Rubinson (1996) indicated that a more positive brand attitude leads to an increase of market share. Furthermore, Aaker and Jacobson (2001) stated that it functions as one of the essential factors concerning the prediction of future term cash-flows. 2.3 Instagram Instagram is an online mobile photo and video-sharing application that launched in October 2010 (Instagram, 2017). It allows its users to follow other users and, what is most important in the context of marketing, be up to date regarding their favourite brands, their interests and most recent trends (Elliot, 2014). A web article written by Constine (2017) on TechCrunch.com, a website that’s based on profiling start-ups and analysing new internet 12 products, stated that Instagram is currently the fastest growing social media platform. Furthermore, evidence suggests that Instagram is the social media platform were customer engagement is highest (McCullough, 2015; Phua et al., 2016). Instagram marketing can be executed by brands in a few different ways.
The most obvious one is the banner ad that also frequently shows when using other social media platforms. Brands can also conceptualize certain ‘hashtags’ (#) with, for example, the slogan of a certain marketing campaign and ask customers to put the hashtag in the description of their post. Furthermore, brands can create their own brand pages and communicate about their newest products with their followers (Johnston, 2017). Lastly, there exists the possibility to approach a user with a high number of followers, called a social media influencer (SMI), and pay them to endorse a product (Long, 2016). However, despite the indications for Instagram’s high marketing potential, a lot of studies still focus on social media in general and only few studies have investigated Instagram independently. Lee, Lee, Moon and Sung (2015) argue that it is wrong to assume that the results of studies that investigated Twitter, Youtube and Facebook are also valid for Instagram, because contrary to other social media platforms, Instagram’s main focus is on the sharing of pictures and short videos.
It is gaining popularity with recent numbers of 400 million global accounts, of which 70.00% exist outside the United States. Daily, 70 million photos are shared and 3.5 billion are liked (Geurin & Burch, 2016). As described in part 2.1, Akar and Topçu (2011) argue that social media has transformed the consumers into marketers and advertisers themselves and hereby make clear that this is a typical characterization of the social media age. Their theory can be connected to one of the, in this section discussed, forms of Instagram marketing which is product endorsement by SMIs who are, after all, consumers themselves. Since this type of marketing is relatively new and a kind that specifically came into existence, because of the rise of social 13 media, this study will further focus on SMI Marketing. Part 2.4 will further elaborate on the concept of SMIs 2.4 Social media influencers As mentioned in part 2.1 and 2.2, consumers have become advertisers and marketers themselves. Nowadays, a frequently used way of marketing on social media is the use of brand endorsers called social media influencers (SMIs) (Freberg et al., 2010).
SMIs are people who have assembled a large network of followers and are believed to be reliable experts in one or more niches (Wong, 2014). They represent a new type of independent thirdparty endorsers who shape audience attitudes through blogs, tweets and the use of other social media (Freberg et al., 2010) and can be seen as modern-day opinion leaders (Jin & Phua, 2014; Uzunoğlu & Kip, 2014). One of the first scholars that aimed to define opinion leaders are Katz and Lazarsfeld (1955, p.3) who describe the concept as “the individuals who were likely to influence other persons in their immediate environment.” Weimann (1994) typifies opinion leaders as individuals that have a wide array of personal connections and can be seen as a guide and an expert. The significance of opinion leaders does not depend on formal power or prestige, but on their capacity to act as the communicative power that informs their network regarding what is important concerning politics, social issues and consumer choices (Nisbet & Kotcher, 2009).
Bhutada and Rollins (2015) found that when an expert endorses the product rather than a non-expert, consumers have significantly more favourable attitudes and stronger behavioural intentions. An additional point of view regarding SMIs is to interpret them as micro-celebrities. Khamis et al. (2016) argue that before the digital age, a celebrity status was only enjoyed by few. It was either meant for those who achieved something remarkable, like famous 14 sportsmen and political figures, were popular in the culture industries, or were born in a privileged environment, like extremely wealthy people or royalties. However, nowadays ordinary people are enabled to reach a large audience through social media platforms, which, at the same time, are equipped with highly visible metrics of popularity and endorsement (Khamis et al., 2016).
A large amount of followers, for example, can be seen as a fan base and in this way, ordinary users find online micro-celebrity status (Khamis et al., 2016; Marwick, 2016). In the context of marketing, there have been a lot of studies that aimed to examine the effects of celebrity endorsement of a product or brand and the effect on outcomes like brand attitude. For example, Till, Stanley and Piruck (2008) found that brand endorsements by celebrities elicit favourable brand attitudes, because celebrities raise positive emotions. The same is said by Amos, Holmes and Strutton (2008) who state that a positive celebrity image will transfer to the endorsed brand. Another important reason that is said to lead to positive brand attitudes is the fact that the reliability of a product communication executed by a celebrity, or another consumer, is more reliable than the same product marketed by the brand itself (Choi & Rifon, 2012).
However, Del Mar Garcia De Los Salmones, Dominguez and Herrero (2013) say that there is still a great lack of research in the celebrity endorsement field. As research indicates that SMM, as well as celebrity endorsement, lead to positive brand attitudes, it is expected that when a SMI, who can be considered a micro-celebrity, performs these marketing activities on the social media platform Instagram, it will also lead to positive attitudes towards the endorsed brand. 2.5 Attitude towards the Instagram post As indicated in part 2.2, this study has the objective of finding out more regarding the relationship between Instagram marketing and brand attitude. However, since Instagram is 15 about posting photos and videos, it would also be relevant to zoom in on Instagram-posts specifically.
This offers the opportunity for brands to accumulate new knowledge on what consumer attitudes are towards a specific post. A term that seems to be applicable, and has extensively been used in prior advertising research, is attitude towards the advertisement. After all, photo’s or video’s that are shared for marketing purposes by SMIs, are actually a form of advertising. Attitude towards the advertisement is defined as “a pre-disposition to respond in a favourable or unfavourable manner to a particular advertising stimulus during a particular exposure occasion” (Lutz, 1985, p. 46). Former studies have often combined both attitude towards the brand and attitude towards the ad, because they are both principal indicators of ad effectiveness (Belanche, Falvián and Pérez-Rueda, 2016). Furthermore, it was indicated in prior research that the use of celebrities as endorsers in advertisements is a big contributor concerning consumer’ attitudes towards advertisements (Lafferty, Goldsmith & Newell, 2002; Ohanian, 1990).
Therefore, it is expected that SMI endorsement, being perceived as micro-celebrities and experts as described in part 2.4, also results in more favourable attitudes towards the Instagram post (ATTIP). 2.6 Purchase intention Besides attitude towards the brand and attitude towards the ad, in most advertising studies, a third ad effectiveness measure is added, namely, purchase intention (PI). Previous findings point out that these three constructs are related and measuring them is a good way to predict purchasing behaviour (Simpson, Brown & Widing, 1998). Eventually, the purpose of marketing a certain product, is that the consumers will buy it. This is not considered to be different when talking about SMI marketing on Instagram. 16 Purchase intention is defined by Ajzen and Fishbein (1980, p. 102) as “an individual’s readiness and willingness to purchase a certain product or service.” Several studies that have been done in the past suggest that there is a positive relationship between celebrities endorsing a product or brand and a consumers’ purchase intention (Amos et al., 2008; Choi & Rifon, 2012; Ohanian, 1991; Tripp, Jenson & Carlson, 1994). Therefore, it is expected that SMI endorsement will also lead to a stronger purchase intention. Hypothesis 1: An Instagram post by a social media influencer will lead to a more favourable (a) attitude towards the brand, (b) attitude towards the Instagram post and (c) purchase intention compared to an Instagram post by a brand. 2.7 SMI credibility Djafarova and Rushworth (2016), who provided one of the few recent studies that addressed Instagram as a separate platform, stated that future research should focus on source credibility of endorsers on Instagram. O’keefe (1990, p. 181) defines source credibility as “judgments made by a perceiver … concerning the believability of a communicator.” It refers to how much the message receiver believes in the sender and is an important factor in persuasion effectiveness (Wu & Wang, 2011).
Source credibility can be divided into two dimensions; perceived expertise and trustworthiness. The level of expertise is determined by how knowledgeable the receiver perceives the source and the level of trustworthiness is determined by how unbiased the receiver perceives the source (Gotlieb & Sarel, 1991; Hovland, Janis & Kelley, 1953). Additionally, Ohanian (1990) states that there is a third dimension called attractiveness, which refers to when the sender attracts receivers to consume products or services. Ohanian furthermore explains that he extracted this third dimension from the source-attractiveness model provided by McGuire (1985) and says that this the 17 addition of this third dimension is necessary since attractiveness has become an important factor through the increase in use of celebrities as brand endorsers. However, there are also researchers who state that attractiveness has no influence on source credibility. For example, Newell and Shemwell (1995) found that attractiveness has no significant influence on how credible the consumers perceive the endorser.
Furthermore, Lafferty and Goldsmith (2004) postulate that endorser attractiveness only influences source credibility when the product that is endorsed belongs to an attractiveness-improving product category like hair care, perfume or fashion. Past studies indicated that source credibility is an essential factor concerning responses towards an advertised brand (Amos et al., 2008; Buda & Zhang, 2000; Gotlieb & Sarel, 1991). A higher source credibility is said to result in more favourable attitudes towards the message, brand attitudes and purchase intentions (Pornpitakpan, 2004). The results of a study performed by Del Mar Garcia De Los Salmones et al. (2013) support this assumption. The authors examined the effect of celebrity credibility on attitude towards the advertisement and found a significant positive influence. In the current study, the SMI can be regarded as the source and it is therefore expected that the higher the consumer perceives SMI credibility to be, the more favourable the attitude towards the Instagram-post and endorsed brand is. Furthermore, it is expected that a higher perceived SMI credibility leads to a higher purchase intention.