Influencers As Endorsers and Followers As Consumers: Exploring the Role of Parasocial Relationship, Congruence, and Followers’ Identifications on Consumer–Brand Engagement

Xiaofan Wei, Huan Chen, Artemio Ramirez, Yongwoog Jeon, Yao Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Given the benefits and effectiveness of consumer online brand engagement, influencer advertising and marketing have become increasingly popular on social media. Consumer online brand engagement, including consuming, contributing, and creating brand-related content, is closely related to a brand’s reputation and image. This study determines how the two aspects related to influencer endorsement—namely, influencer–follower parasocial interaction (PSI) and influencer–brand congruence (congruence)—affect the three levels of consumer online brand-related activities (COBRAs) on Sina Weibo. We also examined the mediation effect of consumers’ personal identification (PI) and social identification (SI) with brands in this process. The data were collected from 390 Weibo users in China, and valid data were analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM). The results show that PSI and congruence have a direct positive effect on consuming brand-related content; PSI has an indirect influence on contributing brand-related content through SI’s mediation effect; and both PSI and congruence contributed to creating brand-related content, with the mediating effect of PI and SI. This study extends the literature on the motivation of consumer–brand engagement (engagement) on social media and discusses the roles of PI and SI in influencer marketing, filling a gap in the research and bringing new perspectives for brands and corporates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-288
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Interactive Advertising
Volume22
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Marketing

Keywords

  • Brand identification
  • Sina Weibo
  • consumer–brand engagement
  • endorser–brand congruence
  • influencer endorsement
  • parasocial interaction
  • social media

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