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The Impact of Influencer Marketing on Consumers’ Attitudes

A Qualitative Study on What Reasons Affect Millennials’ Attitudes by Influencer Marketing in Sweden

Written by J. Grafström, L. Jakobsson

Paper category

Bachelor Thesis


Business Administration>Marketing & Sales




Bachelor Thesis: Influencer marketing There are multiple definitions of influencer marketing. For example, “a type of marketing that focuses on using key leaders to promote brand information to a larger market” (Byrne, Kearney & MacEvill, 2017, p. 1). Li & Du (2011) also believe that influencers are similar to opinion leaders, who define them as influential people with a strong personal brand. Together with the two definitions mentioned, the author believes that it can be further specified to describe influencer marketing in an online environment. Therefore, in this paper, it is defined as follows: influencer marketing uses people who have built a large number of followers on social media platforms (such as Instagram or blogs). In addition, this person is also considered trustworthy, and brands use this person to spread product and brand awareness (De Veirman et al., 2017). Previous research has shown that compared to paid advertising, influencers are more likely to be seen as credible and trustworthy people because it coincides with other content on the platform (Abidin, 2016). Authenticity reduces resistance to the information conveyed (De Vries et al., 2012). Consumers can choose which influencers to follow, which influencers they allow to influence them, and consumers trust their influencers. Their opinions should be regarded as relevant to the topic (Hsu, Chuan-Chuan Lin & Chiang, 2013). Devilleman et al. (2017) pointed out that one of the main challenges facing brands is still to identify and select the right influencers. Compared with direct marketing, influencer marketing uses the power of word of mouth (WOM) to indirectly market their products or services (De Veirman et al., 2017; Araujo, Neijens, and Vliegenthart, 2017). According to existing literature, electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) has a greater impact on consumer decision-making than traditional advertising (Goldsmith & Clark, 2018). Consumers always value other judgments more than advertisers, which is considered to be one of the keys to influencer marketing (De Veirman et al., 2017). The difference between celebrities and influencers is that influencers are more accessible, but also easier to connect with people, because influencers often share more of their personal lives. This can be seen as a personal relationship between influencer and follower, so followers are more likely to trust the influencer's opinions (Abidin, 2016). Previous research has shown that in order to perform a great event, it is important for influencers to be both well-known and appreciated by the audience (Amos, Holmes, and Strutton, 2008). 2.3 Attitudes Attitudes can be seen as people's evaluation of objects, people, and themselves. Assessments can be formatted based on various experiences, such as behavior, cognition, or emotion, which can guide behavior, cognition, or emotional processes (Petty & Cacioppo, 1986). Attitudes also include the tendency to look for favorable or unfavorable objects (Smith, Brief & Stevens, 2008). When the assessment is assigned to an object, the attitude is formatted, and when a person gains experience with an attitude object, the attitude is part of the cognitive learning process, and then a belief in the object is developed (Smith et al., 2008). Formation can also be emotional and occurs with associations between objects and sensations, which are enhanced by repeated associations (Smith et al., 2008). Petty and Cacioppo (1986) studied attitude change and persuasion. They pointed out that motivation and ability are needed to deal with persuasive agreements and deal with these agreements (Smith et al., 2008). Depending on the motivation, information is either centrally processed or peripherally processed. Further research has also shown that attitudes are relatively resistant to change, and that attitudes are more likely to change when information is processed centrally (Smith et al., 2008). An exploratory study on consumer attitudes towards relationship marketing and its impact shows that most people have a positive attitude towards relationship marketing (Jones, Reynolds, Arnold, Gabler, Gilison & Lander, 2015). When using this type of marketing, this attitude may have a positive impact on consumer response. Relationship marketing can be defined as every marketing activity aimed at establishing, developing, and maintaining relationship exchanges, such as loyalty (Jones et al., 2015). Since influencer marketing is also seen as building a relationship, the connection between the two can be noticed, and a positive attitude will also affect influencer marketing. In addition, Duffet (2017) published a survey to study the impact of social media marketing on consumer attitudes. The results of this study also show a positive attitude towards this marketing tool. Since most influencer marketing communicates through social media, this study shows that consumers at least have a positive attitude towards marketing tools. 2.4 Recommending electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) through electronic word of mouth (eWOM) is related to influencer marketing and can produce similar effects (Liu et al., 2015). Tiago and Veríssimo (2014) emphasized that eWOM is an important factor in digital development and companies adapting to a higher digital presence. Recommendations and reviews are the foundation of WOM. With the development of technology, eWOM appeared. Read Less