The effect of influencer marketing on consumer behavior: An analysis of fitness influencers on Instagram

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School of Business | Master's thesis
Degree programme
59 + 4
The objective of this research paper as a thesis is to understand the recent phenomenon of Instagram influencers within influencer marketing, and how the trend has kept growing even more during the recent years. This thesis analyzes how influencer marketing is able to transform consumers’ behavior through social media on consumption decisions and the trust towards the selling brand/business. Due to the multitude of platforms on social media and the broad scope of influencer marketing, this study narrows its focus to Instagram and the fitness industry, thus examining Instagram fitness influencers and their impact on their followers. Another growing phenomenon during the past recent years, thanks to social media, has been fitness and wellbeing with a healthy lifestyle. Especially fitness influencers have been the driving factor for this rapidly spread information and interest towards fitness. With social media growing continuously and the technological advantages boosting this digital revolution, it seems that there is no slowing down in this aspect either. Another driving factor for the information spreading through digital channels even more was the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic. Whole nations needed to stay indoors and stay away from physical/social situations, thus transforming more towards the online world. This thesis uses semi-structured interviews as a qualitative research method to produce and present answers to the research question: “How does fitness influencers impact the consumer behavior through social media (Instagram)?”. Finally, the thesis argues for guidelines on how fitness related brands should implement these behavioral changes within their influencer marketing tools to come up with the best possible strategy and in which topics the future research should focus on.
Thesis advisor
Kajalo, Sami
social media marketing, influencer marketing, consumer behavior, Instagram, fitness industry
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