How digital influencer content and characteristics influence Generation Y persuasiveness and purchase intention




digital influencers, trust, brand attitude, purchase intention, generations


This paper aims to understand the effect of content and digital influencer characteristics on their persuasiveness ability and Generation Y's resulting brand attitudes and purchase intentions (Millennials). Based on a sample of 201 individuals and quantitative analysis, data was analysed using Smart PLS. The results show that the quality of the content is the characteristic with the highest impact on the influencer's persuasive power. In terms of influencer characteristics, trust is a critical determinant. The influencer's persuasiveness is essential for developing a positive attitude towards the brand and purchase intention. Our findings update previous studies, focusing on Generation Y and including trust as a variable while simultaneously revealing a fundamental determinant of influence power. For brands, this study confirms the importance of having digital influencers in their strategies. For influencers, it suggests that when targeting Generation Y, they should invest in the quality of their publications and increase trust, as this is strongly linked to their persuasiveness and, consequently, to the purchase intention of their followers

Author Biographies

  • Maria Antónia Rodrigues, ISCAP P. Porto Rua Jaime Lopes Amorim, s/n 4465-004 S. Mamede de Infesta 229050000

    Maria Antónia Rodrigues (Ph.D) is a senior lecturer at Porto Accounting and Business School of Polytechnic of Porto. She is a Director of BA in Marketing. She is a reviewer and has published a several papers. She is a member of CEOS.PP, a research Centre of Porto Accounting and Business School of Polytechnic of Porto. She also has business experience in services companies.

  • Maria Amélia Carvalho, ISCAP P. Porto Rua Jaime Lopes Amorim, s/n 4465-004 S. Mamede de Infesta 229050000

    Maria Amélia Carvalho (Ph.D.) is an invited adjunct professor at Porto Accounting and Business School of Polytechnic of Porto. She has published papers in the domain of customer engagement, social media and tourism marketing.

  • Luciana Oliveira, ISCAP P. Porto Rua Jaime Lopes Amorim, s/n 4465-004 S. Mamede de Infesta 229050000

    Luciana Oliveira is a full professor at ISCAP P.Porto and a researcher at CEOS.PP. She has published relevant work in the domain of social media, communication, e-learning and information systems. She is a member of the Editorial Review Board for several international conferences and journals and is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction and International Journal of Technological Advancements.

  • Andreia Barbosa, ISCAP P. Porto Rua Jaime Lopes Amorim, s/n 4465-004 S. Mamede de Infesta 229050000

    Andreia Barbosa holds a master's degree in Administrative Assistance and a degree in Business Communication. With expertise in accounts payable, she also possesses professional experience in sales and point-of-sale communication. Her passion lies in the realm of digital communication.


Akar, E., & Dalgic, T. (2018). Understanding online consumers' purchase intentions: a contribution from social network theory. Behaviour & Information Technology, 37(5), 473-487.

Al Khasawneh, M., Abuhashesh, M., Ahmad, A., Masa'deh, R., & Alshurideh, M. T. (2021). Customers' online engagement with social media influencers' content related to COVID-19. In: Alshurideh, M., Hassanien, A.E., Masa'deh, R. (eds) The Effect of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) on Business Intelligence. Studies in Systems, Decision and Control, vol 334. Springer, Cham.

Alagöz, S., & Ekici, N. (2016). The new phenomenon of the marketing world in the digital era: Content marketing. International Journal of Economics, Commerce and Management, 4(12), 639-646.

Ashley, C., & Tuten, T. (2015). Creative strategies in social media marketing: An exploratory study of branded social content and consumer engagement. Psychology & Marketing, 32(1), 15-27.

Bagozzi, R. P., & Yi, Y. (1988). On the evaluation of structural equation models. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 16(1), 74-94.

Balakrishnan, B.K., Dahnil, M. I., & Yi, W. J. (2014). Social media marketing medium's impact on purchase intention and brand loyalty among Generation Y. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 148, 177-185.

Barbosa, B., Rocha, A., & Pina, L. (2022). Guerrilla marketing on Facebook: A mixed-method study on the effects on brand image and content sharing intentions. Tourism & Management Studies, 18(3), 37-47.

Bang, H. J., & Lee, W. N. (2016). Consumer response to ads in social network sites: An exploration into the role of ad location and path. Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, 37(1), 1-14.

Bencsik, A., Horváth-Csikós, G., & Juhász, T. (2016). Y and Z generations at workplaces. Journal of Competitiveness, 8(3), 90-106.

Berlitz, D. K., & Rauber, L. H. (2019). Marketing de influência e engajamento: uma análise do perfil da Jade Seba no Instagram. In Anelise Rublescki (Ed.) Trilhas e caminhos: pesquisa em comunicação (pp. 8-29). Novo Hamburgo/RS - Brasil: Universidade Freevale.

Bevan-Dye, A. L. (2013). Black generation Y students' attitudes towards web advertising value. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 4(2), 155–164.

Blazevic, V., Wiertz, C., Cotte, J., de Ruyter, K., & Keeling, D. I. (2014). GOSIP in cyberspace: Conceptualisation and scale development for general online social interaction propensity. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 28(2), 87–100.

Brakus, J. J., Schmitt, B. H., & Zarantonello, L. (2009). Brand experience: what is it? How is it measured? Does it affect loyalty? Journal of Marketing, 73(3), 52-68.

Bruhn, M., Schoenmueller, V., & Schäfer, D. B. (2012). Are social media replacing traditional media in terms of brand equity creation? Management Research Review, 35(9), 770-790.

Bullock, L. (2018). How to evaluate and partner with social media influencers. Social media Examiner. Retrieved 15.01.2024 from

Casaló, L. V., Flavián, C., & Ibáñez-Sánchez, S. (2017). Antecedents of consumer intention to follow and recommend an Instagram account. Online Information Review, 41(7), 1046-1063.

Casaló, L. V., Flavián, C., & Ibáñez-Sánchez, S. (2020). Influencers on Instagram: Antecedents and consequences of opinion leadership. Journal of Business Research, 117, 510-519.

Chaihanchanchai, P., Anantachart, S., & Ruangthanakorn, N. (2024). Unlocking the persuasive power of virtual influencer on brand trust and purchase intention: a parallel mediation of source credibility. Journal of Marketing Communications, 1-23.

Chu, S. C., & Kim, Y. (2011). Determinants of consumer engagement in electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) in social networking sites. International Journal of Advertising, 30(1), 47-75.

Colliander, J., & Dahlén, M. (2011). Following the fashionable friend: The power of social media: Weighing publicity effectiveness of blogs versus online magazines. Journal of Advertising Research, 51(1), 313-320. 10.2501/JAR-51-1-313-320

Cox, K. C., Stewart, S. A., Lortie, J., & Barreto, T. S. (2019). Different strokes for different folks: Generational differences, social salience, and social performance. The International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, 20(3), 170-181.

Dabija, D.-C., Bejan, B. M., & Tipi, N. (2018). Generation X versus millennials communication behaviour on social media when purchasing food versus tourist services. E+ M Ekonomie a Management, 21(1), 191-205.

De Veirman, M., Cauberghe, V., & Hudders, L. (2017). Marketing through Instagram influencers: the impact of number of followers and product divergence on brand attitude. International Journal of Advertising, 36(5), 798-828.

De Vries, L., Gensler, S., Leeflang, P. S. (2012). Popularity of brand posts on brand fan pages: An investigation of the effects of social media marketing. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26(2), 83-91.

Devens, G. R. (2017). A construção da confiança na decisão da compra online. Master's dissertation presented at Escola Brasileira de Administração Pública e de Empresas, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Evans, N. J., Phua, J., Lim, J., & Jun, H. (2017). Disclosing instagram influencer advertising: The effects of disclosure language on advertising recognition, attitudes, and behavioral intent. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 17(2), 138-149.

Farivar, S., Wang, F., & Yuan, Y. (2021). Opinion leadership vs. para-social relationship: Key factors in influencer marketing. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 59, 102371.

Feng, Y., Chen, H., & Kong, Q. (2021). An expert with whom I can identify the role of narratives in influencer marketing. International Journal of Advertising, 40(7), 972-993.

Franke, N., & Schreier, M. (2008). Product uniqueness as a driver of customer utility in mass customisation. Marketing Letters, 19(2), 93-107. 10.1007/s11002-007-9029-7

Fry, R. (2020). Millennials overtake Baby Boomers as America's largest generation. Pew Research Center, 25, 1-36. Retrieved 15.11.2023 from

Gentina, E., Shrum, L. J., & Lowrey, T. M. (2016). Teen attitudes towards luxury fashion brands from a social identity perspective: A cross-cultural study of French and U.S. teenagers. Journal of Business Research, 69(12), 5785-5792. doi:

Geyser, W. (2021). The state of influencer marketing 2019: Benchmark report. Influencer Marketing Hub. Retrieved 15.11.2023 from

Ghosh, M. & Islam, A.S. (2023). Homefluencers' endorsement of millennial consumers' purchase intention in new normal. International Marketing Review, 40(5), 1188–1212.

Glucksman, M. (2017). The rise of social media influencer marketing on lifestyle branding: A case study of Lucie Fink. Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, 8(2), 77-87.

Godey, B., Manthiou, A., Pederzoli, D., Rokka, J., Aiello, G., Donvito, R., & Singh, R. (2016). Social media marketing efforts of luxury brands: Influence on brand equity and consumer behavior. Journal of Business Research, 69(12), 5833-5841.

Gretzel, U. (2017). Influencer marketing in travel and tourism. In Marianna Sigala, Ulrike Gretzel (Eds.), Advances in social media for travel, tourism and hospitality (pp. 147–156). Abingdon, U.K.: Routledge.

Hair, J., Hair Jr, J. F., Sarstedt, M., Ringle, C. M., & Gudergan, S. P. (2023). Advanced issues in partial least squares structural equation modelling. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage publications.

Hajli, N., Shanmugam, M., Papagiannidis, S., Zahay, D., & Richard, M. O. (2017). Branding co-creation with members of online brand communities. Journal of Business Research, 70, 136-144.

Hawkins, M.A. & Saleem, F.Z. (2024). Influencer advertising: facilitating poor-fitting influencer posts. Management Decision, 62(1), 200-218.

Hennig-Thurau, T., Gwinner, K., Walsh, G., & Gremler, D. (2004). Electronic word-of-mouth via consumer-opinion platforms: What motivates consumers to articulate themselves on the Internet? Journal of Interactive Marketing, 18(1), 38-52.

Herrando, C., Jimenez-Martinez, J., & Martin de Hoyos, M. J. (2018). Surfing or flowing? How to retain e-customers on the internet. Spanish Journal of Marketing - ESIC, 22(1), 2-21.

Holliman, G., & Rowley, J. (2014). Business to business digital content marketing: marketers' perceptions of best practice. Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, 8(4), 269-293.

Huffaker, D. (2010). Dimensions of leadership and social influence in online communities. Human Communication Research, 36(4), 593-617.

Hughes, C., Swaminathan, V., & Brooks, G. (2019). Driving brand engagement through online social influencers: An empirical investigation of sponsored blogging campaigns. Journal of Marketing, 83(5), 78-96.

Hwang, K., & Zhang, Q. (2018). Influence of parasocial relationship between digital celebrities and their followers on followers' purchase and electronic word-of-mouth intentions, and persuasion knowledge. Computers in Human Behavior, 87, 155-173.

Karhawi, I. (2017). Influenciadores digitais: conceitos e práticas em discussão. Communicare, 17(12), 46-61.

Kemp, S. (2020). Digital 2020: October global statshot. Datareportal: Kepios Analysis. Retrieved 15.11.2023 from

Knoll, J. (2016). Advertising in social media: a review of empirical evidence. International Journal of Advertising, 35(2), 266-300.

Labrecque, L. I. (2014). Fostering consumer–brand relationships in social media environments: The role of parasocial interaction. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 28(2), 134-148.

Lakhani, D. (2008). Subliminal persuasion: influence and marketing secrets they don't want you to know. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.

Lampeitl, A., & Åberg, P. (2017). The role of influencers in generating customer-based brand equity & brand-promoting user-generated content. Retrieved 10.11.2023 from

Leal, G. P. A., Hor-Meyll, L. F., & de Paula Pessôa, L. A. G. (2014). Influence of virtual communities in purchasing decisions: The participants' perspective. Journal of Business Research, 67(5), 882-890.

Lee, J., & Hong, I. B. (2016). Predicting positive user responses to social media advertising: The roles of emotional appeal, informativeness, and creativity. International Journal of Information Management, 36(3), 360-373.

Lee, M., & Theokary, C. (2021). The superstar social media influencer: Exploiting linguistic style and emotional contagion over content? Journal of Business Research, 132, 860-871.

Lincoln, J. E. (2016). Digital influencer: a guide to achieving influencer status online. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Google Books.

Liu, S., Jiang, C., Lin, Z., Ding, Y., Duan, R., & Xu, Z. (2015). Identifying effective influencers based on trust for electronic word-of-mouth marketing: A domain-aware approach. Information Sciences, 306, 34-52.

Lou, C., & Yuan, S. (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.

Loubach, M. B. S., Madeira, P. A., & Coelho, M. A. P. (2019). Os influenciadores digitais como uma nova estratégia de marketing turístico. In Anais do XIII Congresso Internacional de Linguagem e Tecnologia Online. Retrieved 10.11.2023 from https://eventos. php

Lu, Y., Jerath, K., & Singh, P. V. (2013). The emergence of opinion leaders in a networked online community: A dyadic model with time dynamics and a heuristic for fast estimation. Management Science, 59(8), 1783-1799.

Macdonald, E. K., & Sharp, B. M. (2000). Brand awareness effects on consumer decision making for a common, repeat purchase product: A replication. Journal of Business Research, 48(1), 5-15.

McCracken, G. (1989). Who is the celebrity endorser? Cultural foundations of the endorsement process. Journal of Consumer Research, 16(3), 310-321.

McMillan, S. J., & Hwang, J. S. (2002). Measures of perceived interactivity: An exploration of the role of direction of communication, user control, and time in shaping perceptions of interactivity. Journal of Advertising, 31(3), 29-42.

Mendola, M. A. (2014). Blogging in the fashion industry: A descriptive study of the use of the two-step flow communications theory by professional and citizen bloggers to become opinion leaders. Senior project. Retrieved 11.11.2023 from

Mirabi, V., Akbariyeh, H., & Tahmasebifard, H. (2015). A study of factors affecting on customers purchase intention. Journal of Multidisciplinary Engineering Science and Technology (JMEST), 2(1), 267-273.

Moldovan, S., Goldenberg, J., & Chattopadhyay, A. (2011). The different roles of product originality and usefulness in generating word-of-mouth. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 28(2), 109-119.

Murphy, P. K., Long, J. F., Holleran, T. A., & Esterly, E. (2003). Persuasion online or on paper: A new take on an old issue. Learning and Instruction, 13(5), 511-532.

Pappas, I. O., Kourouthanassis, P. E., Giannakos, M. N., & Chrissikopoulos, V. (2017). Sense and sensibility in personalised e-commerce: How emotions rebalance the purchase intentions of persuaded customers. Psychology & Marketing, 34(10), 972-986.

Park, C., & Lee, T. M. (2009). Information direction, website reputation and eWOM effect: A moderating role of product type. Journal of Business Research, 62(1), 61-67.

Pedron, C. D., dos Santos, F. M., Llobet, P. L. P. P., & Chaves, M. S. (2015). Estratégia de relacionamento entre empresas e bloggers: o caso do setor da cosmética. Revista Base (Administração e Contabilidade) da UNISINOS, 12(2), 110-121.

Peters, K., Kashima, Y., & Clark, A. (2009). Talking about others: Emotionality and the dissemination of social information. European Journal of Social Psychology, 39(2), 207-222.

Petty, R. E. (2018). Attitudes and persuasion: Classic and contemporary approaches: Abingdon, U.K.: Routledge.

Pittman, M., & Reich, B. (2016). Social media and loneliness: Why an Instagram picture may be worth more than a thousand Twitter words. Computers in Human Behavior, 62, 155-167.

Putri, N. A. . & Putra, H. B. (2024). The effect of social-media-influencer-popularity on purchase-intention of a fashion-product through emotional attachment. Jurnal Mantik, 7(4), 3282-3291.

Rios, G. (2017). O poder dos micro-influenciadores. Marketeer.

Rodgers, S., & Thorson, E. (2017). Digital advertising: Theory and research (3rd ed.). Abingdon, U.K.: Routledge.

Ronnie, L., & Brown, C. (2021). Do influencers still need management? Retrieved 10.11.2023 from

Santiago, J. K., Magueta, D., & Dias, C. (2020). Consumer attitudes towards fashion influencers on Instagram: Impact of perceptions and online trust on purchase intention. Issues in Information Systems, 21(1).

Santos, M. I. S. (2017). Impacto das redes sociais na conversa entre as marcas e o consumidor. Master's dissertation presented at Católica Porto Business School, Porto.

Saunders, M., Lewis, P., & Thornhill, A. (2012). Métodos de pesquisa para estudantes de negócios. London, UK: Pearson Education Limited.

Schimmelpfennig, C., & Hunt, J. B. (2020). Fifty years of celebrity endorser research: Support for a comprehensive celebrity endorsement strategy framework. Psychology & Marketing, 37(3), 488-505.

Schouten, A. P., Janssen, L., & Verspaget, M. (2020). Celebrity vs. Influencer endorsements in advertising: The role of identification, credibility, and product-endorser fit. International Journal of Advertising, 39(2), 258– 281.

Scott, G. G. (2014). More than friends: Popularity on Facebook and its role in impression formation. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, 19(3), 358-372.

Sessa, V. I., Kabacoff, R. I., Deal, J., & Brown, H. (2007). Generational differences in leader values and leadership behaviors. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 10(1), 47-74.

Sheldon, P., & Bryant, K. (2016). Instagram: Motives for its use and relationship to narcissism and contextual age. Computers in Human Behavior, 58, 89-97.

Sheth, S., & Kim, J. (2017). Social media marketing: The effect of information sharing, entertainment, emotional connection and peer pressure on the attitude and purchase intentions. GSTF Journal on Business Review (GBR), 5(1).

Silveira, C. S., de Oliveira, M. O. R., & Luce, F. B. (2011). Customer equity and market value: Two methods, same results? Journal of Business Research, 65(12), 1752-1758.

Smith, A. N., Fischer, E., Yongjian, C., Smith, A. N., Fischer, E., & Yongjian, C. (2012). How does brand-related user-generated content differ across YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter? Journal of Interactive Marketing, 26(2), 102-113.

Sudha, M., & Sheena, K. (2017). Impact of influencers in consumer decision process: the fashion industry. SCMS Journal of Indian Management, 14(3), 14-30.

Teng, S., Wei Khong, K., Wei Goh, W., & Yee Loong Chong, A. (2014). Examining the antecedents of persuasive eWOM messages in social media. Online Information Review, 38(6), 746-768.

Terra, C. (2017). Do broadcast ao socialcast: apontamentos sobre a cauda longa da influência digital, os microinfluenciadores. Revista Communicare, 17, 80-99.

Thakur, R., Angriawan, A., & Summey, J. H. (2016). Technological opinion leadership: The role of personal innovativeness, gadget love, and technological innovativeness. Journal of Business Research, 69(8), 2764-2773.

Torres, P., Augusto, M., & Matos, M. (2019). Antecedents and outcomes of digital influencer endorsement: An exploratory study. Psychology & Marketing, 36(12), 1267-1276.

Tsimonis, G., & Dimitriadis, S. (2014). Brand strategies in social media. Marketing Intelligence & Planning, 32(3), 328-344.

Uzunoğlu, E., & Kip, S. M. (2014). Brand communication through digital influencers: Leveraging blogger engagement. International Journal of Information Management, 34(5), 592-602.

Vahdati, H., & Mousavi Nejad, S. H. (2016). Brand personality towards customer purchase intention: The intermediate role of electronic word-of-mouth and brand equity. Asian Academy of Management Journal, 21(2).

Veiga, C., Santos, M. C., Águas, P., & Santos, J. A. C. (2017). Are millennials transforming global tourism? Challenges for destinations and companies.Worldwide Hospitality and Tourism Themes, 9(6), 603-616.

Wall, A., & Spinuzzi, C. (2018). The art of selling-without-selling: Understanding the genre ecologies of content marketing. Technical Communication Quarterly, 27(2), 137-160.

Werenowska, A., & Rzepka, M. (2020). The role of social media in Generation Y Travel decision-making process (Case Study in Poland). Information, 11(8).

Xiao, M., Wang, R., & Chan-Olmsted, S. (2018). Factors affecting YouTube influencer marketing credibility: a heuristic-systematic model. Journal of Media Business Studies, 15(3), 188-213.

Zavattaro, S. M., & Brainard, L. A. (2019). Social media as micro-encounters. International Journal of Public Sector Management, 32(5), 562-580.

Zhao, H. & Wagner, C. (2023). Factors influencing TikTok-based user purchase intention: comparison between potential customers and repeat customers. Internet Research, ahead-of-print.






Business/Management: Research Papers

How to Cite

Rodrigues, M. A., Carvalho, M. A., Oliveira, L., & Barbosa, A. (2024). How digital influencer content and characteristics influence Generation Y persuasiveness and purchase intention. Tourism & Management Studies, 20(2).

Most read articles by the same author(s)

<< < 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 > >>