The Search for Authenticity: Influencer Advertising on Instagram

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MacLean, Laura
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University Honors College Middle Tennessee State University
Instagram advertising is a common form of advertising that has permeated the lives of consumers on Instagram. This thesis explores the emotional relationship that is built between Instagram Influencers, advertisements, and consumers. The case study in this thesis identifies some specific advertising strategies that build the Influencer and consumer relationship. It was found that the inclusion of personal, unsponsored content on the Influencer’s platform was critical in generating a sense of authenticity towards the Influencer’s sponsored content. Consumers were then more likely to trust that the Influencer’s product recommendations were authentic, and identify a desire to liken themselves to the Influencer by purchasing the product. Although there is not a single strategy for Influencer success, the sense of authenticity generated by successful strategies effectively engages consumers.
Media and Entertainment, advertising, marketing, social media, Instagram, influencers, consumers, ohanian, credibility, authenticity in advertising, celebrity influencers, microinfluencers