Influencer culture in SA: Consumers demanding authenticity and honesty - expert

Recent studies also reveal that a growing number of consumers say that they’re more likely to trust what influencers say about brands much more than what brands say about themselves.

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

The evolution of the influencer industry has transformed the marketing industry as we know it. A recent study reveals that locally, content creators earned over R100 million between 2019 and 2021 on just one social media platform.

Today companies are allocating significant portions of their marketing budgets on influencers/content creators. Recent studies also reveal that a growing number of consumers say that they’re more likely to trust what influencers say about brands much more than what brands say about themselves.

Locally, we've witnessed how what was once termed a side hustle can be a prosperous full-time job, with people even resigning from their day jobs to be full-time influencers, who creatively share engaging content in text, video, music and voiceovers. This has also allowed creators more autonomy over the content they produce and their earning potential.

Weekend Breakfast's Gugu Mhlungu spoke to Trends Analyst and Founder of Nicola Cooper & Associates - Nicola Cooper about this phenomenon, and its future in South Africa and beyond.

The opportunity for influencers and content is shifting, which creates additional product or monetised opportunity...and this is the stuff we're picking up from global celebrities...so if you look at the Kardashians and the evolution of that speaking to other people's products are now creating and licensing their own.

Nicola Cooper - Trends Analyst and Founder of Nicola Cooper & Associates

Cooper says the regulation of the influencer industry is critical, owing to its now formalisation, compared to years ago, when it was more of a smaller and informal thing.

I think that's something that's really critical because there's trust involved with these kinds of change makers...dramatic influence between a person of influence, influencer and content creator. And I think we're starting to see those as different careers, to be used on different platforms. Facebook and Instagram - shopping arenas...TikTok as well...Different platforms serve different purposes.

Nicola Cooper - Trends Analyst and Founder of Nicola Cooper & Associates

You can listen to the rest of the interview below: