Brand–SMI collaboration in influencer marketing campaigns: A transaction cost economics perspective

Tahir Abbas Syed, Fahad Mehmood, Talia Qaiser

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Brands are showing an increasing appetite for influencer marketing campaigns in order to accentuate the exclusivity of their products. While the literature supports influencer marketing as a competent persuasive marketing strategy for reaching niche audiences, studies investigating influencer collaboration management strategies to evade the associated challenges remain scant. Thus, influencer marketing is at risk of wasted investment and a low success rate. This research draws on transaction cost economics theory to investigate how brands effectively manage collaboration with social media influencers (SMIs) using a multi-case-study approach of influencer marketing campaigns in 15 brands. Our findings identify critical management strategies and develop a collaboration management framework for effective collaboration. We also highlight control factors to steer brand–SMI collaboration, offering a more nuanced understanding of influencer marketing collaboration management strategies. This paper marks an exploratory step toward understanding influencer marketing from brands' perspectives and offers guidance for brands on how best to engage in effective influencer collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number122580
JournalTechnological Forecasting and Social Change
Early online date21 Apr 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2023


  • Influencer marketing
  • Brand–SMI collaboration
  • Transaction cost economics theory
  • Collaboration management framework


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