The Parasocial Relationships Between Homosexual YouTubers and Their Followers That Affect Influencer Marketing

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Miyuki Morikawa


In influencer marketing, the most important factor impacting the effectiveness of sponsored videos is the credibility of the influencer, and one of the drivers of this credibility is the parasocial relationship between the influencer and their followers. The influencer’s self-disclosure is essential for viewers to develop strong feelings, and the disclosure of sensitive matters, such as sexual orientation, is thought to create a very strong connection between social media figures and their followers with the same orientation. Accordingly, sales promotion videos posted by homosexual influencers may have a more positive impact on their viewers. In this study, we aimed to determine how followers feel about homosexual influencers’ sponsored videos. Using a qualitative open coding method, we analysed 6,256 viewer comments posted on 72 sponsored videos on the YouTube channels of 13 homosexual content creators and found that the viewers’ comments could be categorised into five types: empathy, admiration, encouragement, sharing and disillusionment. We found that influencer marketing is essentially risky because, other than admiration comments, most comments regarding sponsored videos are not completely positive. To reduce the risks of influencer marketing, it is essential for brands to understand the target community and to be willing to consider the community culture during product development.


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How to Cite
Morikawa, M. (2023). The Parasocial Relationships Between Homosexual YouTubers and Their Followers That Affect Influencer Marketing. AU-GSB E-JOURNAL, 16(1), 11-18.
Author Biography

Miyuki Morikawa

Senior Assistant Professor, School of Media Science, Tokyo University of Technology, Japan.


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