One-Man Show: How I Produce Beducation Videos
People often asked how I shoot my Beducation videos and come up with topics.
Beducation = Mattress Education
If you’re not familiar with my Beducation series, it’s an ever-growing set of online videos that assist mattress shoppers. I attempt to objectively inform consumers about mattresses, their components and their construction, and ultimately arm them with the information they need to make an informed purchase. To date, my Beducation videos have garnered over 625,000 views (Update 2020: We’re now over 1.5 million views).
The content I produce is driven almost entirely by consumer feedback and ultimately can be grouped into three general areas: products/components, process, and commentary/exposé.
Shooting these videos is pretty simple – let’s start with that.
Lights, Camera, Action
I was told a few years ago that the best camera you’ll ever need is in your smartphone (that person was an Apple developer, so I took his word). I originally shot my Beducation videos with a 10-year-old Sony camera. And you could tell. But I wasn’t after a polished look and this worked fine for quite a while. Now I’m using my Samsung S4 and it records in high-definition (so that all may witness the permanent ebb tide that is my hairline).
For sound I constructed a wireless microphone system that works with my Samsung S4, undoing the need to face forward the entire shoot and allowing periodic glimpses of my profile without the corresponding loss of sound.
Editing is quick and dirty. I use Windows Movie Maker. Any earlier technology might involve chiseling into stone, but it does the trick. And it’s free.
I shoot my videos whenever I can find the time. Sometimes before the store opens, sometimes after closing, often during the day. And yes, I have been 95% through a 10-minute segment as a customer walks in. You’ve just got to chalk those up as a practice run.
Beducation Topics I Choose And Why
And speaking of customers, they drive most of my content. I always shoot videos describing the mattresses in my showroom, and I try to expand upon the specs of the beds and put the benefits into real-world terms. If I just stand in front of the camera and repeat boring data, then I’ve wasted five minutes of your life you’ll never get back.
I also like to shoot videos describing the different components used when making a mattress and the manner in which the products are assembled. I have some good ones about foams planned for later this year. Helping consumers match a picture of a component to a term is very useful for them when shopping for a bed.
While I attempt to remain objective when describing products and components, I’ll become more subjective as I opine about our industry and the vast amount of misinformation and advertising that attempts to be passed off as fact. And these tend to be my more popular videos. For example, The Truth About 50% Off Sales is inching toward 90,000 views. I’ve found that consumers appreciate these behind-the-scene videos. The information presented assists them to focus on the aspects of their purchase that are germane to achieving restorative sleep.
So who writes my scripts, storyboards things, and creates the cue cards? That would be me, myself, and I. I don’t have a script per se; everything I do is memorized. I will have a rough outline sketched out beforehand, but the process evolves as I do each take. And if you see a 12-minute video, then it was a 12-minute straight shot. If I screw up 10-minutes into it, I start over. Just because I don’t want a super polished look doesn’t mean that the presentation should be unprofessional.
How I Learned To Talk Real Good
A lot of people put effort into promoting their content, which is often a good idea. I don’t promote the videos at all. Once they are shot and edited, I upload the videos to the Beducation Youtube channel, add the appropriate tags, and place them in the proper playlists. Then I create links on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. I also put a link on the appropriate page on my website. That’s it. Over time these living assets show up in search results, drive traffic to my website, and assist consumers as they shop for a new mattress.
I’ve been fortunate to have done quite a bit of public speaking in college and have gone through PR training from one of NASCAR’s representatives when I was a coach for the US Olympic Luge Team. All of that is very helpful and I’m constantly striving to improve and make the content as engaging and enjoyable as possible.
So there you go – ask and you shall receive. In the end, it’s a lot of hard work and a willingness to be responsive to consumer requests that has helped make my Beducation videos popular. I can do it and so can you. Find a way to fit 26 hours into a 24-hour day and make it happen.
This article also appeared on Sleep Geek.