Social Media Influencer Advertising


Special issue of Journal of Advertising; Deadline 1 Feb 2021

POSTING TYPE: Calls: Journals

Author: Colin Campbell

Taylor & Francis Group


Guest Editors:

Colin Campbell, University of San Diego, USA
Sara Rosengren, Stockholm School of Economics, Sweden

Submission Deadline: February 1, 2021

Manuscripts are currently being solicited for an upcoming Special Section of the Journal of Advertising (JA) dedicated to Social Media Influencer Advertising.


Use of influencers – individuals who create social media content in exchange for compensation – is on the rise (Campbell and Grimm 2019; Voorveld 2019). In 2019, the U.S. spend on influencer advertising increased by 70.4% over the prior year, and influencer spend is predicted to increase in 2020 from 32.4% to $3.4 billion – the highest percentage growth out of all online advertising categories (Oster 2020). This has prompted a rapid increase in advertising agencies, marketplaces, and talent agencies devoted to influencer advertising. For example, (2020) now lists over 3,600 agencies specializing in influencer advertising.

While many celebrities act as influencers, a rich body of literature on endorsement by celebrities already exists (e.g., Kamins 1990; Ohanian 1990). For this reason, this Special Section specifically encourages research on influencers whose notoriety stems primarily from their work as an influencer and who were not famous before becoming an influencer. We are open to research investigating any type of influencer (e.g., nano-, micro-, macro-, or mega-influencers), but note that there is increasing industry interest in nano- and microinfluencers (Maheshwari, 2018).

To date, the majority of academic research on influencers tends to focus on the potential harm influencers may cause consumers. This primarily includes research on important issues surrounding use of disclosures and possible consumer deception (e.g., Campbell and Marks 2015; Campbell and Grimm 2019; Evans, Hoy, and Childers 2018; Kees and Andrews 2019; Wojdynski and Evans 2016). However, as influencer advertising matures and advertising spend in this area continues to increase, research should also offer insights on a wider range of issues.

Accordingly, in this Special Section on Social Media Influencer Advertising, we invite original manuscripts that develop theoretical knowledge of how advertisers can derive benefit from influencers. This Special Section responds to calls for better understanding the mechanisms through which influencer advertising works and how marketers can best leverage influencers (Voorveld 2019).

This Special Section addresses the call for additional insights on how influencers differ from traditional celebrities (Carrillat and Ilicic 2019), as well as how influencers should be selected and integrated within a larger advertising strategy. While research on these topics is still emerging (e.g., Breves et al. 2019; Campbell and Farrell 2020; De Jans, Cauberghe, and Hudders 2018; Hughes, Swaminathan, and Brooks 2019; Lou and Yuan 2019), our hope is to stimulate further research in this area. In doing so, this Special Section also addresses broader calls for a more diverse and contemporary development of advertising research (Dahlen and Rosengren 2016).


We welcome submissions using all methodological approaches (empirical, analytical, or conceptual), and encourage prospective authors to review recently published papers in the Journal of Advertising to understand both the Journal’s rigor and style. Papers that combine or contrast several theoretical perspectives (e.g., Rosengren et al. 2020; Taylor, Franke, and Bang 2006) are especially encouraged. Relevant topics include, but are not limited to:

  • What kind of communication objectives (e.g., awareness, purchase) are influencers most successful at accomplishing, and what mechanisms can influence this?
  • How does an influencer’s follower count (e.g., nano-, micro-, macro-, or mega-influencers) affect consumer response?
  • How can influencer campaigns be effectively integrated with other types of advertising?
  • How can advertisers predict which influencers are optimal for their campaigns? How do variables such as product category or brand characteristics moderate the effectiveness of influencers?
  • How can influencers choose the right brands to work with, and the right number and mix of them?
  • When do consumers view an influencer as a consumer? A celebrity? Entrepreneur? Brand? And, how does this view affect consumer response to influencer type?
  • How is an influencer’s success affected by their choice of social media (e.g., YouTube vs. Instagram), or by specific content type (e.g., Instagram feed vs. story vs. IGTV)?
  • To what extent does the quality of an influencer’s content affect success? If so, when and why? What role does creativity play in the success of influencers?
  • How can influencers be best valued by advertisers? How can fraudulent or fake influencers be better identified?


Please follow submission and format guidelines for the Journal of Advertising found at Original Research Articles and Literature Reviews are 12,000 words and Research Notes are 6,000 words maximum (including references, tables, figures, and appendices).

The submission deadline is: February 1, 2021

Submit manuscripts through ScholarOne, at, during January 15-February 1, 2021. Be sure to select “SPECIAL SECTION: Social Media Influencer Advertising,” and indicate submission type (i.e., Original Research Article, Literature Review, Research Note) in the cover letter. Also note that:

  • All articles will undergo blind peer review by at least two reviewers.
  • Authors will be notified no later than March 2021 on the preliminary decision over their manuscript for the next round of review.
  • The anticipated date for publication of the Special Section is October/December 2022

Any questions about the special section can be sent to the guest editors: Colin Campbell and Sara Rosengren at


Breves, Priska Linda, Nicole Liebers, Marina Abt, and Annika Kunze (2019), “The Perceived Fit Between Instagram Influencers and the Endorsed Brand: How Influencer–Brand Fit Affects Source Credibility and Persuasive Effectiveness,” Journal of Advertising Research, 59 (4), 440-454.

Campbell, Colin and Justine Rapp Farrell (2020), “More Than What Meets the Eye: Conceptualizing the Functional Components Underlying Influencer Marketing,” Business Horizons (In Press).

Campbell, Colin and Lawrence J. Marks (2015), “Good Native Advertising isn’t a Secret,” Business Horizons, 58 (6), 599-606.

Campbell, Colin, and Pamela E. Grimm (2019), “The Challenges Native Advertising Poses: Exploring Potential Federal Trade Commission Responses and Identifying Research Needs,” Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 38 (1), 110-123.

Carrillat, François A. and Jasmina Ilicic (2019), “The Celebrity Capital Life Cycle: A Framework for Future Research Directions on Celebrity Endorsement,” Journal of Advertising 48 (1), 61-71. (2020), “List of the Top Influencer Marketing Companies,” available at:

Dahlen, Micael and Sara Rosengren (2016), “If Advertising Won’t Die, What Will It Be? Toward a Working Definition of Advertising,” Journal of Advertising, 45 (3), 334–345.

De Jans, Steffi, Veroline Cauberghe, and Liselot Hudders (2018), “How an Advertising disclosure alerts young adolescents to sponsored vlogs: the moderating role of a Peer-Based Advertising Literacy Intervention Through an Informational Vlog,” Journal of Advertising, 47 (4), 309-325.

Evans, Nathaniel J., Mariea Grubbs Hoy, and Courtney Carpenter Childers (2018), “Parenting “YouTube Natives”: The Impact of Pre-Roll Advertising and Text Disclosures on Parental Responses to Sponsored Child Influencer Videos,” Journal of Advertising, 47 (4), 326-346.

Hughes, Christian, Vanitha Swaminathan, and Gillian Brooks (2019), “Driving Brand Engagement Through Online Social Influencers: An Empirical Investigation of Sponsored Blogging Campaigns,” Journal of Marketing, 83 (5), 78-96.

Kamins, Michael A. (1990), “An Investigation into the ‘Match-Up’ Hypothesis in Celebrity Advertising: When Beauty May Be Only Skin Deep,” Journal of Advertising, 19 (1), 4-13.

Kees, Jeremy, and J. Craig Andrews (2019), “Research Issues and Needs at the Intersection of Advertising and Public Policy,” Journal of Advertising, 48 (1), 126-135.

Lou, Chen, and Shupei Yuan (2019), “Influencer Marketing: How Message Value and Credibility Affect Consumer Trust of Branded Content on Social Media,” Journal of Interactive Advertising, 19 (1), 58-73.

Maheshwari, Sapna (2018), “Are You Ready for the Nanoinfluencers?” The New York Times, Nov. 11., available at:

Oster, Erik (2020), “U.S. Advertising and Marketing Spend to Grow to Nearly $390 Billion in 2020,” AdWeek, available at:

Rosengren, Sara, Martin, Eisend, Scott Koslow, and Micael Dahlen (in press), “A Meta-Analysis of When and How Advertising Creativity Works,” Journal of Marketing.

Taylor, Charles R., George R. Franke, and Hae-Kyong Bang, (2006), “Use and Effectiveness of Billboards: Perspectives from Selective- Perception Theory and Retail-Gravity Models,” Journal of Advertising, 35 (4), 21-34.

Till, Brian D., and Terence A. Shimp (1998) “Endorsers in Advertising: The Case of Negative Celebrity Information,” Journal of Advertising, 27 (1), 67-82.

Voorveld, Hilde A. (2019), “Brand Communication in Social Media: A Research Agenda,” Journal of Advertising, 48 (1), 14-26.

Wojdynski, Bartosz W. and Nathaniel J. Evans (2016), “Going Native: Effects of Disclosure Position and Language on the Recognition and Evaluation of Online Native Advertising,” Journal of Advertising, 46 (2), 1-12.