Why context matters in a changing social media environment: The role of placement prominence as a moderator of disclosure effects in sponsored influencer content
Keywords:product placement, sponsored content, placement prominence, disclosure, social media influencer, persuasion knowledge, perceived persuasive intent, deception
Social media influencers have marked a significant change in advertising in recent years. By integrating sponsored content from advertisers into their feeds, they create awareness and favorable attitudes for products and brands. The effectiveness of this sponsored content builds on close adaptation to the original content of the specific media platform. To ensure transparency, influencers are required to disclose sponsored content. While effects of such disclosure labels and disclaimers have been widely examined, less attention has been paid to context factors that may influence these effects, such as placement prominence. Building on the propositions of the Persuasion Knowledge Model (PKM), this study aims to investigate the role of placement prominence as a moderator of disclosure effects. Results of an experimental study revealed that prominent placements support disclosure labels in reducing perceived deceptiveness of sponsored content, which positively affects influencer credibility and recipients’ attitudes toward the promoted brand. In contrast, disclosure effects on perceived persuasive intent vanished, when placement prominence was high. The results emphasize the importance of context factors in the processing of sponsored content and disclosures in a constantly changing social media environments.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Johannes Beckert, Thomas Koch
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