The psychological impact of influencer marketing

Jina Marwood Jina Marwood
August 14, 2020

Influencer marketing has become a strategic method and subdivision of social media marketing rooted in traditional messaging, with an effective framework that gets established well before brands reach out to partner with them.

Our new social circles have a largely digital element so it makes sense that we are inspired, and subconsciously feel pressure, to conform to the people we are friends within the digital space.

Consumer behavior is closely connected to our cognitive biases, and the way social media users are affected by influencer marketing is no exception.

Social Conformity

Human beings are social creatures. Many consumers who perceive the influencers they follow to be part of their social circle, feel the need to keep up with their ongoing activities.

The pressure to conform is ingrained in all of us, which directly plays into a follower’s need for belonging. If they come across an opinion that is popular with people they trust, they can securely make the same assessment. 

The Halo Effect

The Halo Effect is a cognitive bias where a specific attribute influences how you feel about other unrelated attributes.

Influencers we view as an authority in one area can eventually establish credibility in other areas, which is why it becomes easy for their followers to view their content as dependable information. This is why we continue to watch, engage with, and praise social icons — most of us feel compelled to show interest.

The Halo Effect within influencer marketing also relates to the element of trust. Influencer marketing is all about nurturing mutually beneficial and trusting relationships.

The digital space has shown us the importance of personal connections in marketing.  Brands understand the psychological effect of influence and partner with influencers to attract and persuade their target audiences. Because of our natural desire for human connections, it’s apparent that influencer marketing is crucial for brands to gain the trust of their consumers.

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