Buying Future Endorsements from Prospective Influencers on User-Generated Content Platforms

Professor Andreas Lanz

Forthcoming publication by Prof. Dr. Andreas U. Lanz in the Journal of Marketing Research.


Excessive monetary compensation and existing contractual agreements of influencers limit the ability of many firms to engage in effective influencer seeding. We suggest a forward-looking approach of targeting prospective influencers––while they are still largely unknown (e.g., a few months after their platform registration)––and signing them to endorse the firm in the future (e.g., more than a year later). This approach has the potential to significantly reduce costs. However, as only rarely do newly registered users ultimately become influencers (and as signals are weak), we propose a novel framework to cope with this rare-event problem. For empirical demonstration and application, we conduct data-based simulations using a dataset from a worldwide leading audio platform. Every wave of newly registered users is associated with a profit potential stemming from future endorsements by prospective influencers. With knowledge about the order of magnitude of the return on successful influencer spend, applying the framework can extract around 20% of this profit potential (if the return is around three times the spend).

Cite article: Lanz, Andreas, Jacob Goldenberg, Daniel Shapira, and Florian Stahl (2023), “Buying Future Endorsements from Prospective Influencers on User-Generated Content Platforms,” Journal of Marketing Research, forthcoming.

Read article: Journal of Marketing Research