In today's digital era, social networking influencers' (SMIs) ability to drive consumer purchase behaviour has become a focal point of interest. Despite the widespread utilisation of SMIs in marketing, there is a need to comprehend how their varied characteristics impact consumers' purchasing inclinations. This study seeks to address this gap, focusing on the role of influencer credibility as a novel and effective brand marketing strategy. This paper proposes a dual-route effect framework that explores the relationship between influencer credibility, customer engagement, and trust. This framework suggests that audience engagement with an influencer's content bolsters the source's credibility based on the strength of the relationship with the influencer, thereby enhancing the brand's credibility. The audience's immersion in the influencer's content elevates the appreciation of brand content. Expert impressions and bite-sized video content can foster trust and generate interest among target audiences. The proposed framework provides a base for future researchers to delve deeper into the dynamics of influencer marketing. The study also explores other possible mediating and moderating variables that could further explain the relationship between influencer credibility and purchase intention. From a managerial perspective, this paper's insights shed light on how influencer credibility can be effectively leveraged as a brand marketing strategy. The dual-route effect framework proposed provides a roadmap for enhancing brand credibility and customer trust through strategic influencer marketing. This study adds to the growing body of literature on influencer marketing, focusing on influencer credibility. The proposed framework offers a novel perspective on how audience engagement with influencer content can indirectly strengthen brand credibility and drive purchase intentions.
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