YouTube Marketing: Examining the impact of user-generated-content sponsorship.



Social media has been recognized as an important marketing tool for affecting consumer behaviour, which motivated companies to search for opportunities to advertise their brands through social media. In that regard, they critically assess sponsoring user-generated-content (UGC) creators in social media to feature their products. However, the effectiveness of this approach on consumers’ decisions is still unclear, and the literature is scarce. This study assesses the impact of explicit sponsorship of social media UGC creators on consumers’ behaviour. The purpose is to examine the factors affecting viewer’s willingness to purchase a product through a social media channel, and understand whether a sponsored video changes the viewers’ opinion. The effects of UGC social media videos on consumers is investigated through a within-design experimental study. Multiple measurements are made on the same set of respondents, chosen among 241 females, for two YouTube videos, one self-produced and the other associated with a brand. Data is assessed by employing four analyses; mean comparison, moderation, multi-group moderation and moderated mediation. The study indicates that sponsorship of UGC creators on YouTube is an effective way of advertising brands, and strengthens the respondents’ purchase intention. Results showed that sponsorship increases the source’s perceived expertise. Although sponsorship decreases the endorser’s trustworthiness, the impact of a specific brand positively effects consumers’ willingness to buy, and word-of-mouth (WOM) intention. Marketers should be aware of the success revealed by the impact of YouTube. This study provides an important insight for marketers seeking ways to integrate their brand marketing strategies to new media technologies, and are interested in giving advertisement on UGC creators on social media channels. The approach of using well-known YouTubers for sponsorship is a new marketing strategy that companies need to be aware of. This study focuses on the importance of new media technologies for brand advertisements. This study is the one of the first to investigate the sponsorship effect in UGC on YouTube, and contributes also to the practice by investigating advertisement opportunities with UGC creators on YouTube.


YouTube(r), User-Generated Content (Creator), Sponsorship, Experimental Design, Source Credibility

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