Editorial content and branded websites most trusted in SA

Consumers in South Africa trust editorial content and companies’ branded websites more than any other form of media


This is according to a recent study by global information and measurement company, Nielsen.

Findings from the study reveal that 56 per cent of South Africans trust editorial content such as newspaper articles above any other form of media, closely followed by branded websites (55 per cent). The study also found that for paid media advertising, South Africans place the highest level of trust in traditional media, with newspaper advertisements the most trusted form of paid advertising (51 per cent), followed by television and radio advertisements, both 50 per cent (see chart 1).


New media

According to the study, new media advertising is beginning to gain the trust of South Africans with just over one quarter (26 per cent) saying they trust ads served on mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets and around one in five (21 per cent) trust text ads received via their mobile phones.

“The findings released today confirm that South African consumers’ are more inclined to trust and be influenced by editorial content and traditional forms of media advertising,” says Justin Sanan, Associate Director of Nielsen’s Online Division in South Africa. “However advertising via new media such as mobile devices and online is also starting to make in-roads in this market.”

The Nielsen report found that around half (51 per cent) of South African consumers are ‘highly’ or ‘somewhat’ influenced by standard website advertisements on social media sites, with this number increasing to 64 per cent if the advertisement has social context which shows which of their friends have liked or followed the advertised brand. Furthermore, 28 percent of consumers in South Africa trust online banner advertisements or recommendations and 61 per cent believe that online advertising that is targeted based on previous web pages visit, makes the content more relevant.


Hitting the mark

“There is a direct link between South African consumers being influenced by or trusting online advertising and the relevance of the message being delivered,” notes Sanan. “Advertisers need to really hit the mark with their advertising messages in order to achieve maximum impact. With effectively targeted campaigns, there is significant growth opportunity for businesses to connect with consumers via digital platforms.”

The influence of social media on South Africans also extends into the area of consumer generated media such as product reviews and recommendations, according to Nielsen. Almost one third of South Africans (32 per cent) have used social networking sites to seek advice or recommendations on products or brands, while close to one in five (19 per cent) have actively recommended a product or brand on a social networking site.

Chart 1: To what extent do you trust the following forms of advertising/recommendation?

(Trust Completely/Somewhat)

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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