Research by Bruce Carlin and Stephen Spiller suggests YouTube videos could help consumers make better money decisions
How to make a brief video that can meaningfully boost Americans’ financial literacy: Present a focused message, but don’t just discuss good ideas — show how to take specific action. Inform, but don’t be too clever or preachy. And beware: misleading online advertising could dilute your message.
That’s the gist of a paper forthcoming in Management Science by UCLA Anderson’s Bruce I. Carlin, Li Jiang (a former Ph.D. student) and Stephen A. Spiller.
The authors note that YouTube has become a “major outlet for self-education,” with a 2013 study showing 50 percent of adult internet users watched educational videos and 30 percent posted educational or tutorial videos of their own. Many millennials have fully embraced online video for information. More U.S. adults ages 18 to 34 tune in to YouTube monthly than any individual cable network.
But posting an educational video doesn’t guarantee it will be watched, let alone shared. So the authors set out to find a video formula that would get results. They made their own videos on evaluating credit cards, a market known for “hidden fees and price complexity,” their paper notes.