Call for papers: Special Issue on Future Trends in Influencer Marketing

(05-05-2020) International Journal of Advertising launches a call for papers to be included in a special issue guest edited by Liselot Hudders and Chen Lou.

Special Issue Theme: Future Trends in Influencer Marketing

Increasing advertising clutter and accompanying advertising avoidance have compelled advertisers to search for new advertising tactics to promote their brands to consumers. In this respect, it is important to attract consumers’ attention to the brand message and reduce skepticism and irritation. The emerging popularity of bloggers and vloggers and the rise of influencers on social media platforms as Instagram, YouTube and TikTok has inspired advertisers to invest in a new, often covert, advertising tactic, called influencer marketing. This digital advertising tactic relies on popular social media users, who have built a significant and engaged follower base by frequently posting pictures and videos, to promote brands. More specifically, many followers consider a sponsored post as a genuine recommendation of the influencer, increasing the credibility of the message and positively affecting followers’ attitudes towards the brand endorsed in the post (Lou and Yuan 2019; Schouten, Janssen and Verspaget 2019). Followers continuously receive updates from the social media influencer and have the opportunity to interact with him or her both online and offline. This gives followers the feeling that they have a personal bond with the influencer, even though the relationship is rather imbalanced and much more unidirectional than bidirectional, indicating more a para-social relationship rather than a real friendship.

The emerging use of influencer marketing in practice has also sparked interest in the topic among academic researchers. In recent years, a growing amount of studies were published on influencer marketing, focusing on 1) how to identify the right social media influencer to promote your brand (Khan et al. 2017), 2) examining the effectiveness of influencer marketing by focusing on the role of source credibility, para-social interaction, and congruity (De Veirman, Cauberghe and Hudders 2017; Schouten et al. 2019), 3) elaborating on the ethical use of influencer marketing and the role of advertising disclosures in this matter (De Veirman and Hudders, 2020; Evans, Hoy and Childers 2018; Stubb and Colliander 2019), 4) investigating the appeal of influencers among specific groups (e.g., adolescents) (Boerman and Van Reijmersdal 2020), and so on. However, despite the growing interest of academics in the specifics of influencer marketing, a number of questions yet remain to be explored. Accordingly, this special issue addresses the research gaps by focusing on the future trends in the use of influencers as a marketing tactic.



The special issue Future Trends in Influencer Marketing invites submissions focusing on (but not limited to) the topics detailed below. We welcome original submissions, empirical research, literature reviews, or conceptual papers.

  • Testing and extending extant theories related to influencer marketing
  • Source effects in influencer marketing
  • Content Strategies in influencer marketing
  • Influencer Marketing Platforms
  • Good and bad influences of influencers on consumers

        • Influencers, CSR, and prosocial advertising
        • Influencer marketing and vulnerable consumers

  • Influencer marketing in COVID-19 times
  • Influencer and advertising ethics
  • Cross-cultural influencer marketing
  • Industry perspectives and strategies
  • Influencer marketing and data analytics
  • Influencer marketing creativity and the creative process
  • Influencer marketing, privacy, and legal ramifications


Submission Guidelines

Submissions should follow the manuscript format guidelines for the International Journal of Advertising (IJA). Manuscripts should be limited to 9000 words, inclusive of tables, references, and figure captions.

Submission Deadline: November 30, 2020

All manuscripts should be submitted through the IJA online editorial management system during the period of November 1 through November 30, 2020. Authors should select ‘SPECIAL ISSUE: Future Trends in Influencer Marketing’ as ‘Article Type’. Please also note in the cover letter that the submission is for the Special Issue on Future Trends in Influencer Marketing. Manuscripts will go through a double-blind peer review process.


Special issue guest editors

Dr. Liselot Hudders, Assistant Professor in Marketing Communication and Consumer Behavior, Director of the Center for Persuasive Communication, Department of Communication Science and Marketing, Faculty of Political and Social Sciences, Ghent University, Belgium, e-mail:

Dr. Chen Lou, Assistant Professor in Integrated Marketing Communication and Advertising, Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, e-mail: