The psychology behind influencer advertising


Neuromarketing Precept:

Understanding how shoppers’ notion of similarity and identification with social media influencers (SMIs) affect their emotional responses, motivations and subsequent behaviors in direction of manufacturers and merchandise.

Image this: You’re mindlessly scrolling via your Instagram feed, and there she is – Kylie Jenner, effortlessly flaunting the newest make-up traits. Now, Kylie is not only a actuality TV celebrity; she’s a mega influencer with thousands and thousands of followers. While you see her sharing her make-up suggestions and product suggestions, you’ll be able to’t assist however really feel a way of wishful identification. You admire her glamorous way of life and assume, “Possibly I can obtain a contact of that too!” It is like having a front-row seat to the world of luxurious. These emotions of identification with Kylie spark a need to emulate her, and out of the blue, these make-up merchandise she’s endorsing develop into must-haves in your magnificence routine.

NNM 2023 09 KylieJenner

Now, let’s shift to the world of sports activities and health. Cristiano Ronaldo, the soccer legend, is not simply identified for his unbelievable expertise on the sector; he is additionally a mega influencer with an enormous following. While you watch his coaching movies and see his dedication to health, it is arduous to not really feel a way of similarity. You assume, “I can hit the fitness center and get match like Ronaldo!” This perceived similarity stirs up a optimistic emotional connection and motivates you to put money into health tools and dietary supplements endorsed by him. It is like having your private health guru.


These two examples of Kylie Jenner and Cristiano Ronaldo completely illustrate the psychological precept at play in influencer advertising. When common folks really feel a connection or actually wish to be like well-known influencers, it units off a collection of feelings that have an effect on how they act. 

Can Influencers inspire us to enhance?

Corporations have caught on to together with influencers as part of their technique. Hoping to win the hearts (and wallets) of their prospects. Not too long ago a analysis paper uncovered how Gen-Z shoppers relate, establish, and evaluate themselves to influencers. 


A current examine confirmed that when shoppers see influencers as much like themselves, it triggers ‘assimilative comparability feelings’, principally saying “Hey, I might be like them!”. On the flip facet, if a client feels that they’re tremendous completely different from the influencer, it triggers ‘contrastive comparability feelings’. That is the place the patron feels a decrease sense of management, inferiority and pondering others are simply fortunate. 


You will need to be aware that though these emotions are fully reverse (‘I might be like them’ vs ‘I’m nothing like them’), each forms of these comparability feelings have an effect on how motivated persons are to comply with the influencer for self-improvement. Should you really feel related, you are extra prone to wish to study from them. However should you’re wishing to be like them, it could additionally inspire you to take motion to enhance your self. 


Curiously, when folks really feel each optimistic and damaging feelings towards an influencer, it really pushes them to wish to higher themselves. This, in flip, makes a buyer just like the influencer’s merchandise and wish to purchase them, and so they interact extra with the influencer’s posts, like leaving feedback or sharing. 

What does this imply for my advertising technique? 

As a marketer, whenever you decide an influencer to symbolize your model, be sure that they’re somebody your viewers can relate to.  It is not all about seems to be; it is about shared beliefs and traits. In the event that they’re seen as a job mannequin, that is the jackpot!

As well as, in case your influencer exhibits how your product might help followers enhance themselves, even within the face of contrastive feelings, you are heading in the right direction. Folks can be extra motivated to comply with your model and purchase your objects. 


As an illustration, should you’re selling eco-friendly merchandise, staff up with influencers who’re captivated with sustainability. As a substitute of partnering with a high-fashion mannequin, you collaborate with an influencer who’s identified for his or her sustainable way of life. They usually share recommendations on decreasing waste and residing a inexperienced life. Your viewers, which incorporates environmentally-conscious shoppers, will discover this influencer relatable and be extra inclined to belief their suggestions. This creates a real connection between the influencer and your viewers. Keep in mind, authenticity is essential. 


This insightful examine does have some tips to be cautious of. Firstly, there have been extra feminine Gen-Z members than male Gen-Z, so we are able to’t say that these outcomes apply to everybody throughout the board. Subsequent, many of the influencers on this examine had large followings (greater than 100,000). These outcomes could or could not apply to smaller micro or nano influencers. Lastly, the examine discovered some attention-grabbing connections between shoppers’ emotions and influencer advertising, however it couldn’t show which is inflicting which. It’s like making an attempt to determine if the hen got here earlier than the egg. It is a enormous situation for the findings – requiring extra analysis to dig deeper. 


Talking of digging deeper, future neuromarketing research ought to experiment with how shoppers view influencers. Are they seen as glamorous way of life icons, or do they embody values and traits? That is essential as a result of if we encourage prospects to chase influencers’ lavish existence, we’d unintentionally fire up materialism.


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