The Art of Relatability
8 Sept 2022
Relatability is a buzzword in the zeitgeist right now. Everyone is talking about being relatable, or the need to be relatable or complaining that something or someone isn’t relatable enough. But what does it really mean?
Gen Z is the generation of representation. It’s almost a universal core value across the generation that representation, in all senses of the word, is hugely important, especially in media (including social media). At the end of the day, it’s human nature to trust people who are more similar to you; talk like you, look like you, think similarly to you and the list goes on.
This is equally important in the world of finance. #Finance has almost 1 billion hits on TikTok, who’s majority audience is under 24. On other platforms, finance has never received this kind of interest from young adults - but TikTok is the first platform to really hone in on this concept of “relatability”.
On TikTok, and other similar platforms, the people teaching aren’t teachers. They’re people just like you and me, and you’ve got a much higher chance of finding someone you can relate to. The problem with this arises when you take a look at some of the content being produced. The issue with people like you and me, is that we might not be totally qualified to give out the advice, which is exactly what’s happening on the finance space within TikTok.
So, we have a generation obsessed with relatability, which is great for pushing representation and getting everyone interested in learning - but not always great for getting truly reliable information. Where do we draw the line?
The fact is, we don’t have to. Authenticity and relatability are two key factors in getting Gen Z’s attention and keeping it, and this is a good thing. As mentioned, people are more receptive to people they trust, and wider representation means reaching a much wider audience. Which in the case of finance, is great. The more young people taking control of their personal finances and feeling confident about money, the better.
It’s a simple case of making sure the people providing the information have got their facts straight. Which is why at Zeed, we make sure our creators are authentic and relatable in their videos, as well as being highly knowledgeable in the field they’re speaking on.
34 second attention span
The other side of relatability online is the format of the content itself. TikTok has won here too, as the fastest growing platform in the past few years. The max length of the average best performing TikToks in 2022 so far have been between 21-34 seconds, meaning if you want to be truly relatable to Gen Z, you need to be able to get your point across fast.
34 seconds isn’t a lot of time to explain a financial concept - without a lot of pre-planning, it’s likely that things are going to get missed or explained in shorthand. Videos over this length on TikTok are less likely to get viewed and therefore less likely to make a big impact.
So, there's a problem around making relatable finance content that is engaging as well as factual and helpful - but it's not impossible. This is another problem we are tackling by keeping all of our videos less than 1 minute long, packed with information, and free from hard-to-understand jargon.
So is relatability in finance a science or an art? It seems to just be a bit of a balance. Users want an experience that is easy for them to understand, they want to hear people speak like them, and see people who look like them. At the same time, in the finance space, this content needs to provide value - which although is tricky, is not impossible with planning, and finding the right people for the job.
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