The types of advertising that millennials are being exposed to has altered in recent years. The rise of social media has led to influencer marketing becoming an extremely popular source of advertisement aimed at millennials. The research question : What are the desired characteristics of an influencer promoting products in the health & fitness industry to successfully impact millennials purchasing decisions? Four main objectives were devised to answer this research question. To examine the impact of influencers on millennials purchase decisions in the health and fitness sector. To investigate the key factors that determine millennials' level of trust in influencers in the health & fitness industry. To investigate the importance of attractiveness, expertise & qualification for the influencers ability to gain trust and therefore impact purchase decisions. To identify key factors / make recommendations necessary for a successful influencer strategy in the health and fitness sector, aimed at millennials.
A questionnaire was used to collect predominantly quantitative data from 100 respondents. A deductive approach was taken, and the data was analysed using a descriptive analysis. The data collected from the questionnaire was then analysed using the SPSS
software. This allowed for a deeper analysis of the data. The key results : Influencers currently do have a considerable impact on millennials purchase decisions in the health & fitness sector. Influencers who promote several brands at once are not trusted by millennials. Physical attraction, a muscular build (expertise), and a qualification are all desirable characteristics for increasing trust between the millennial and influencer. However, having a qualification is the characteristic which increases trust the most. The Micro Influencer group (10,000-50,000 followers) is the most trusted of out the influencer categories & Mega Influencers (1 million + followers) are the least trusted.
Recommendations have been made to health & fitness companies who are looking to incorporate influencer marketing with millennials as the key target audience. These recommendations are strongly backed up by the data collected. To answer the research question , the desired characteristics for an influencer promoting products in the health & fitness industry to successfully impact purchasing decisions : A Micro Influencer (1,000-10,000 followers) , has a qualification , is a logical fit with the brand and does not promote many products at once. There is further research required in this area. It is suggested that a qualitative study is conducted with the aim of discovering why certain factors lead to trust/distrust.