The effects of paid Instagram posts on purchase intention through social identification and brand credibility

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This research studies the relationship between influencer marketing and purchase intention. This is done by comparing the effects of influencer marketing with the effects of celebrity endorsement. Social identification and brand credibility are researched as mediators in this relationship. This research was run through an online experiment by Qualtrics in which respondents were exposed to either a influencer (male or female) or celebrity (male or female) promoting Colgate products on Instagram. The results showed that influencer marketing did not have a significantly more positive effects on purchase intention than celebrity endorsement. However, a positive and significant relationship was found between brand credibility and purchase intention; social identification and purchase intention; and brand credibility and social identification. Therefore, it can be concluded that there indeed is a positive relationship between the mediators and the outcome variable purchase intention. However, the choice of using an influencer for endorsement or a celebrity did not seem to matter when using a utilitarian product. These results lead to the following question: what other factors determine the strength of influencer marketing as a marketing tool to improve purchase intention. This gap, a.o, is recommended to be addressed in future research.
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