Content marketing in e-commerce platforms in the internet celebrity economy

Ruibin Geng, Shichao Wang, Xi Chen, Danyang Song, Jie Yu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

86 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: With the popularity of social media and, recently, live streaming, internet celebrity endorsements have become a prevalent approach to content marketing for e-commerce sellers. Despite the widespread use of social media and online communities, empirical studies investigating the economic value of user-generated content (UGC) and marketer-generated content (MGC) still lag behind. The purpose of this paper is to contribute both theoretically and practically to capture both first-order effects and second-order effects of internet celebrity endorsements on marketing outcomes in an e-commerce context. Design/methodology/approach: This study conducts a cross-sectional regression to evaluate the economic value of internet celebrity endorsement, and a panel vector autoregressive model is adopted to examine the relationship between celebrities’ and consumers’ content marketing behaviors and e-commerce sales performance. The authors also adopt look-ahead propensity-score matching technique to correct for selection bias. Findings: The empirical results show that the content generation efforts of marketers and the interaction behaviors between marketers and consumers will significantly influence the e-commerce sales, which refers to the first-order effects of internet celebrity endorsement. Moreover, interactions within the fan community exert second-order effects of content marketing on sales performance. Originality/value: This paper provides new insights for e-commerce retailers to evaluate the economic values of internet celebrity endorsement, a new content marketing practice in e-commerce platform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-485
Number of pages22
JournalIndustrial Management and Data Systems
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2020


  • Content marketing
  • E-commerce sales
  • Interaction behaviours
  • Internet celebrity economy
  • Internet celebrity endorsement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Industrial relations
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Strategy and Management
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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