Influencer marketing effectiveness

Fine F. LEUNG, Flora F. GU, Yiwei LI, Jonathan Z. ZHANG, Robert W. PALMATIER

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


Influencer marketing initiatives require firms to select and incentivize online influencers to engage their followers on social media in an attempt to promote the firms’ offerings. However, limited research considers the costs of influencer marketing when evaluating these campaigns’ effectiveness, particularly from an engagement elasticity perspective. Moreover, it is unclear whether and how marketers could enhance influencer marketing effectiveness by strategically selecting influencers, targeting their followers, or managing content. This study draws on a communication model to examine how factors related to the sender of a message (influencer), the receiver of the message (influencer's followers), and the message itself (influencer's posts) determine influencer marketing effectiveness. The findings show that influencer originality, follower size, and sponsor salience enhance effectiveness, and posts that announce new product launches diminish it. Several tensions arise when firms select influencers and manage content: Influencer activity, follower–brand fit, and post positivity all exert inverted U-shaped moderating effects on influencer marketing effectiveness, suggesting that firms that adopt a balanced approach along these dimensions can achieve greater effectiveness. These novel insights offer important implications for marketers designing influencer marketing campaigns.

Original languageEnglish
Article number93-115
JournalJournal of Marketing
Issue number6
Early online date10 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) disclosed receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: This work was supported by the Lingnan University Direct Grant, Lingnan University Faculty Research Grant (grant number DR21B3, DB21A7).

Publisher Copyright:
© American Marketing Association 2022.


  • influencer marketing effectiveness
  • online influencers
  • consumer engagement
  • social media
  • marketing strategy


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