Over the past few years, companies have been gradually increasing their attention towards a new phenomenon: the influencer. Influencer Marketing as a new tool was mainly characterized by sponsorship agreement in its early days. Nowadays, the focus has been shifting towards new types of collaborations with influencers in which they play an active role as content or product co-creator of the influencer marketing campaign. The concept of co-creation also shifted its focus from the customer as the main co-creator to other value network partners. This study draws attention to the cross-sectional research field co-creation and influencer marketing by acknowledging the influencer as co-creator of the company. The central aim of the research is to analyse the relationship between the company-influencer level of co-creation and the return of investment as follower engagement rate. The study closely collaborates with one of the worldwide leading influencer marketing agencies: Open Influence. To achieve the aim of this study, a quantitative analysis of data of 150 collaborations between companies and influencers on Instagram has been performed. The analysis included two potential moderators of the relationship between influencer co-creation and follower engagement rate: (1) the size of the influencer and (2) the match between company and influencer sectors. The results of the analysis demonstrate a positive relationship between the level of cocreation and the engagement rate of the influencer marketing campaign. Moreover, the findings indicate that the impact of co-creation on follower engagement varies over levels of how well the brand of the influencer matches the brand of the advertised product. This study serves as a first base to the cross-sectional field of influencer marketing and co-creation. The influencer is identified as beneficial co-creator to the firm, overcoming the focus on the ordinary customer as the main actor to co-create value with.
|MSc in International Marketing and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
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