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2021 | Book

Drivers of User Engagement in Influencer Branding

An Empirical Analysis of Brand-Related User-Generated Content on Instagram


About this book

The knowledge on how to influence user engagement metrics and thereby brand visibility plays a crucial role in influencer branding – both for social media influencers as well as marketers. Based upon two holistic empirical models and the analysis of real-world data, Tanja Fink is able to show important drivers of user engagement in influencer branding. Therefore, the author is building upon established models from research in celebrity endorsement, product placement and social media marketing. The profound empirical results reveal surprising and highly relevant insights for brand managers which call for a more conscientious (visual) integration of brands in user-generated content (UGC) on Instagram. In addition, the author detects several mechanisms for increasing user engagement while preventing user reactance towards the brand endorsement.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. User Engagement in Influencer Branding as Research Objective
The emergence of digitalization and especially the rise of social media as a source of communication and information has forced brands to find new ways to interact with their target audiences.
Tanja Fink
Chapter 2. Theoretical Foundations on Drivers of User Engagement
From a brand management’s perspective influencers represent a further digital brand touch point along the customer journey. Comparably to the concept of opinion leadership, SMIs can act as the voice of the brand. Though user engagement displays an important KPI within influencer branding and depicts a central metric of its influence on subsequent brand-related outcomes, research on drivers of user engagement within influencer branding is still scare. Hence, there is a need for a better understanding on factors which actually drive user engagement in influencer branding. To achieve this, this work will follow a systematic investigation of SMI-, brand-, and content-related drivers as conceptualized within the basic model of influencer branding.
Tanja Fink
Chapter 3. Empirical Validation of Drivers of User Engagement in Influencer Branding
In Chapter 2 an extensive literature review in fields related to influencer branding (i.e. celebrity endorsement, brand placement, and social media marketing) served as the fundament for a theory-based derivation of potential drivers of user engagement in influencer branding. As a result five constructs from different research fields were identified and corresponding explanatory variables (engagement drivers) as well as further control variables were compiled for subsequent content analysis of real-world data.
Tanja Fink
Chapter 4. Conclusion, Reflection and Outlook
The growing popularity of the new type of online opinion leaders in social media networks referred to as SMIs offers the starting point of this thesis. While marketers shift advertising expenditures to digital channels, consumers’ trust in these digital media channels is still on a comparably low level. On the contrary, consumers, above all, trust recommendations of family and friends — and those of SMIs who represent “friend-akin” individuals in users’ daily lives.
Tanja Fink
Drivers of User Engagement in Influencer Branding
Dr. Tanja Fink
Copyright Year
Electronic ISBN
Print ISBN