A new survey found that 57% of Gen Zers said they would quit their day job to become an influencer if given the chance, which a brand expert translated to mean that more than half of the coming-of-age respondents “believe people can easily make a career in influencing.”
Decision intelligence company Morning Consult released its September 2023 brand report, which, after surveying over 2,200 US adults and Gen Zers aged 13 to 26 who are active on social media, concluded that “consumer behaviors and attitudes may be constantly evolving, but the allure of influencers and the draw of becoming one! remains notable.”
Nearly 60% of respondents in Generation Z — who were born between 1997 and 2012 — said they would take the job of social media influencer over their current gig, while 41% of adults would opt for the role, which sees people earning money to post photos and videos endorsing a product or service.
Of those Gen Zers, 53% believe being an influencer is a reputable career choice, and three in 10 teens and young adults even said they would pay to become an influencer.
For Gen Zers who would become influencers, 22% said they would post about gaming, while 10% fantasize about endorsing beauty and skincare products.
Young people said they’d be least interested in being an influencer with a niche in drinking, home design, politics or social causes, the Morning Consult survey found.
Most adults, meanwhile, don’t know what they would post about, followed by 13% that said they would create food content and 8% who would share posts on music.
Ellyn Briggs, a brands analyst at Morning Consult, told CNBC that TikTok makes influencing seem like a more plausible career than ever thanks to its “no-frills, direct-to-cam and low-editing content.”
TikTok has “broadened the amount of people who feel influencing is accessible to them,” Briggs added, who said the survey results show Gen Zers “believe people can easily make a career in influencing.”
Briggs attributed young people’s desire to influence to the ability to make money, work flexible hours and do fun tasks.
And as an interest in becoming an influencer has grown, so has social media users’ trust in the online endorsers.
A staggering 61% of Gen Z and millennial survey respondents said they trust social media influencers — an increase from the 51% that trusted these highly-followed users in 2019.
Gen Zers don’t appear deterred by the “not insignificant amount of content creator controversies” that have gone viral or gotten users cancelled in recent years, Briggs said.
Among the most prominent influencers to fall victim to cancel culture include James Charles, Jeffree Star and Jenna Marbles.
Charles, and ultra-popular beauty YouTuber, was temporarily blocked from monetizing his content on the video-sharing site back in 2021 after it was alleged that he, then 21, used his status on the site to bait and groom minors, including two 16-year-old boys who say they engaged in direct message conversations.
Star — who started his social media career out on MySpace before launching a YouTube channel in 2006 to post makeup tutorials — was cancelled in 2020whenInsiderinvestigated claims that Star drugged men.
And Jenna Marbles, formally known as Jenna Mourey, peaked at over 20 million YouTube subscribers before yanking her channel from the platform following allegations of blackface in 2020.