This master’s thesis sets out to analyse how influencers can appear authentic on Instagram, based on three subordinate questions, because influencer marketing has become an emerging discipline with demands for authentic representation of influencers on Instagram. The questions are studied in the paradigm of interpretivism through the approaches of induction and deduction, and are thus answered on the basis of the theoretical framework and the empirical findings. The inductive approach is most fundamental for this master’s thesis and is performed through emergent case studies in the form of interviews. On that note, the first subordinate question relates to the characteristics of authenticity on Instagram from which an analysis of the data and theories on brand authenticity are used to find that credibility, relatability, and spontaneity characterise authenticity on Instagram; meaning that those phenomenons are qualities within authenticity itself. At the same time, the second subordinate question relates to the key drivers for authenticity on Instagram from which the same analysis of data and theories on key drivers for authenticity are used to find that credibility, relatability, and spontaneity are also emphasised as key drivers for authenticity on Instagram alongside consistency and vulnerability; meaning that those phenomenons are qualities that can incite and thence drive authenticity on Instagram. Hence, credibility, relatability, and spontaneity are all qualities within authenticity itself and qualities that can incite it. However, when considering the third subordinate question that relates to the impact of said key drivers on Instagram, the phenomenons that are both recognised as characteristics and key drivers are not necessarily found to be more impactful. That is as a thorough analysis of the data and the theories on key drivers for authenticity suggests that the impact of the key drivers, in a prioritised order, goes from credibility, consistency, spontaneity, relatability to vulnerability. Consistency is thus deemed one of the absolute most impactful key drivers even though it is not recognised as a characteristic of authenticity on Instagram. From those findings, it is concluded that influencers can appear authentic by tapping into the recognised key drivers of credibility, consistency, spontaneity, relatability, and vulnerability in that prioritised order. However, one of the managerial implications of this master’s thesis is that influencers and businesses shall not tap into those drivers with their eyes closed, and a model for managerial use is therefore provided for them.
|Educations||MA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis|
|Number of pages||88|
|Supervisors||Henrik Køhler Simonsen|