The Power of Content Creators in Culture, and Now in Finance
4 Oct 2022
According to trend reports, more than half of Gen Z are using their spare time to learn new things through online research. Having grown up online, it’s no surprise where this gen is getting their info. Youtube and Google ranked equal in first place as the number one place Gen Z go to learn.
The Second Wave of YouTube
Because of this, content creators are a powerful presence in the lives of young people. Around 2009, YouTube entered a sort of “second wave”, where it stopped being a place for just cat videos and the duck song, and young creators started uploading how-to videos, vlogs, tutorials, sharing stories, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
YouTube became the place where you learned how to do everything. From gaming, to makeup, to cooking, to revising for your GCSEs, pretty much everyone was doing it on YouTube. Over the years this only intensified, and now we can look back and see how we pretty much learned everything online.
In turn, the people teaching us, content creators, have had a big impact on us. We trust them! They taught us how to do all the things we couldn’t do before. This has of course spread across through Instagram, and now TikTok, and it looks like our trust in influencers and content creators is only growing.
The Rise of The Influencer Brands
This is affecting not only how Gen Z learns, but also how Gen Z spends. This generation trusts people over brands. Just think of any of the most popular consumer goods brands that have popped up in the past 5 years: Skims, Kylie Cosmetics, Fenty Beauty, Yeezy, and the list goes on. What do these brands have in common? They are built around people and social media.
It's not just main-media celebrities either, flocks of small-time social media influencers are also building brands that are challenging big players - think Grace Beverly's Tala or Emily Weiss' Glossier. It makes sense that consumers feel they can trust these brands when they already 'know' the founders.
And in Finance?
Recently, we’ve seen this trend move into the finance space - most of us didn’t get taught about how to handle our finances in school, let alone anything to do with investing. But it’s something that’s at the forefront of many Gen Z minds, having grown up through a lot of financial turmoil like the 2008 recession and the rise of the cryptosphere. Gen Z is actually quite a financially aware generation.
Content creators on platforms like TikTok and Youtube in the finance space are an amazing addition to the content world. Being able to learn about money online translates something complex, and sometimes boring, into something Gen Z’s short-attention-spanned, video-centric brains can understand and actually enjoy. Making money content engaging is a game changer for the financial literacy of young people.
However, this can be problematic. Whilst most finfluencers mean well, they’re not always qualified to be giving financial advice or market updates. Viewers tend to be very trusting with creators and will often take their opinions as facts, without further research. It’s no secret that misinformation spreads like wildfire on TikTok and YouTube, so this can be detrimental to the financial health of young people.
What can be done to combat this? Essentially, it's down to platforms regulating content, which all sounds a bit Orwellian - and is not likely to happen.
We brought Zeed into existence to help with the problem by creating a space with creator-made investing and finance content that is 100% verified and fact checked.
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