India has far less financial literacy compared to many other nations, despite housing 20 per cent of the world’s population, only around 24 per cent of its citizens are aware about basic financial concepts, according to a global survey.
Financial literacy, which was earlier limited to the bookstores, have now transformed. Today, the widespread use of the internet and the low cost of data have together drawn a completely new category of consumers into the digital economy.
The expansion of financial literacy in India is greatly aided by social media, and it has been one of the major factors that stimulated investment the most.
The pandemic has served as a testament to the value of creating a well-thought-out financial corpus, and this has given rise to the popularity of finfluencers and creators who speak about finance.
Learning about finance is not as exciting as binge watching the latest sitcom, and this is where the finfluencers make a difference. They engage their audiences by educating them on financial matters that would otherwise seem dull to the general public.
Finance is more than just investing in the stock markets; there is a whole universe out there yet to be explored – and these creators have paved a path towards the same. Creators make the most complex and tedious subjects interesting and explain them in layman terms which keeps people engaged, entertained as well as informed.
Finfluencer Marketing ValueSurged from $1.7 bn in 2016 To Nearly $14 bn in 2021
All our lives, we are taught to work hard to earn well – and then what? Financial literacy is still not considered a basic life skill despite it being of utmost importance. Creators do the research for us, adapt to changing times & deliver the best unbiased counsel without charging us a dime! This gives consumers the opportunity to develop, learn, and make wise decisions.
People are becoming more aware of the value of knowing about finance thanks to finfluencers. They portray learning about it as unearthing the advantages that are just waiting to be discovered. Creators are now regarded as trustworthy information sources.
The finfluencer phenomenon isn’t limited to India. According to a report by Statista, the finfluencer marketing value has surged eightfold in just five years, rising from a mere $1.7 billion in 2016 to nearly $14 billion in 2021.
In the financial year ending March 2021, 14.2 million Demat accounts were opened, which is three times more than the previous year. The top 15 financial markets-focused YouTube channels collectively have 1.3 crore subscribers. The increase in stock market aficionados is unprecedented. An innovative response to the age-old problem of financial education has emerged as a result of the influencer wave.
Social media financial advice had mainly been unexplored ground. It is currently booming and continues to draw people from new demographics. This has levelled the playing field so that content now takes precedence over certification from a financial advisor. From striking a dinner table conversation on personal finance to filing tax returns and choosing the right investment, content creation is more than mere content. On the brighter side, the creators churn out content both engaging and informative, as a result, the level of quality and reliability is excellent.
It is safe to say that content platforms and creators have benefited both businesses and consumers in a variety of ways, from lifestyle decisions to money management. Influencers definitely ‘influence’ and are gradually becoming a preferred form of information when it comes to making informed decisions.
With SEBI now planning to regulate finance influencers, their content is only going to become more and more reliable. This step will aid content creators in making content that promotes products in the right fashion as opposed to influencer marketing just being a promotional tool. This will change the landscape and make influencer marketing an awareness first channel.
An essential indicator of people’s ability to make financial decisions is their level of financial literacy, and India is working towards the path of bridging this gap. There is still a long way to go and a pressing need to instil financial investment habits among India’s youth today.
The writer, Sharan Hegde, is a finance creator at Finance With Sharan
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