Written by Julia Jones
Brands have been taking the initiative to market their products on social media platforms and use Influencers to promote their products. In a study done by Balaban, Delia & Racz, Roberta in 2020, with eighty female participants and the brand, Pantene Romania, the researchers tested the differences between the interactions with the brand account and the Influencer’s account. The purpose of the study was to compare the efficiency of social media influencer advertising to brand advertising and take a look at attitudinal and behavioral outcomes. The two groups used were the influencer group and the brand account group. The two groups used the same product on separate accounts on Instagram.
The variables that were tested were brand recall, brand attitude, intention to purchase, and the intention to engage in eWOM. Brand recall is when a customer is more likely to remember the brand after seeing the post. Brand attitude consists of the customer’s attitude towards the brand after seeing the advertisement. Intention to purchase is how likely a customer would be to purchase the product after seeing the ad. Intention to engage in eWOM is when a customer is likely to repost the image or post and share the product with others.
The measurements used were t-tests to see which posts had more engagement. The brand recall for the influencer group was higher than the brand account group by 10%. This proved the first hypothesis, that social media influencer marketing influencer advertising leads to a higher brand recognition than advertising through the brand’s account. There was a significant difference in brand attitude that showed that the use of advertising through influencers leads to a positive attitude towards the brand. There were no significant differences in the purchase intention or the intention to disseminate between the two groups. This may also be because of the small group of participants used for this study or since the researchers only looked at one brand.
These results showed that social media influencer advertising brings a plus to the brand both in terms of the user’s attitude towards the brand and brand recall. The research showed that if a company promotes their brand through people that are well-known and admired by content consumers, it can add value to the brand. Companies are aware of the low-costs that are involved with using social media for marketing and they can increase their followers with the influencers. With these results, companies should be utilizing influencer marketing as an addition to their brand accounts.
Things that need to be considered when searching for an Influencer is how they are perceived, number of followers, post engagement, and if they fit well with your brand. This research contributed to what we know about social media marketing today and how Influencers can increase a brand’s attitude or recall. Since the study was limited to one brand and a small group of participants, the next step would be to test out multiple brands with larger groups. This study was only done with Romanian young consumers, it would be interesting to see the results with different age groups.
Julia is a senior at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and will graduate in May of 2021 with a B.A. in Communication Studies. She plans to work with a local business as a Communication and Marketing Intern. In the future, she hopes to work for a large company where she can pursue her love of Graphic Design and Communication.
Julia has helped smaller brands with their social media platforms since the age of 16. She created content and established an identity for her clients. She knows how to engage the audience and gain a diverse following by using strategies she developed through her experiences.
She enjoys anything that is art-related and going to the beach with her dogs. She is excited to learn more about brand strategy and will use those lessons in her future career.
Balaban, Delia & Racz, Roberta. (2020). Social Media Inﬂuencer Advertising versus Advertising on Social Media Account of a Brand. Evidence from an Experimental Design. Journal of Media Research. 13. 45-54. 10.24193/jmr.38.3.