Arcade

The Arcade Couple

How We Gained an Arcade Family By Filming Arcade Adventures on YouTube.

Side Hustle
November 15, 2020
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Who are you and what kind of content do you create?

Hello! We are Ben & Aune, also known on YouTube as The Arcade Couple. We live in Syracuse, NY, and are currently enjoying the beautiful fall weather and the changing leaves! We are arcade YouTubers. We go to arcades, play games, and film it! YouTube is not a full-time job for us. It’s just a fun hobby that we share. We live very “normal” lives outside of what you will see on our arcade channel. Ben serves as an Associate Pastor at a Baptist Church, and Aune is a full-time stay at home mom to our 4-month old son, Orson. 


The arcade community had already been pretty established by the time we created our channel, but we thought it would still be fun for us to film our adventures and share them with the YouTube world. When it came to picking our channel name, we knew we wanted it to have Arcade in the title, but as there were already so many different channels out there, we had to sift through many name options. We finally settled on “The Arcade Couple.” Aune, who is a graphic designer, created our logo!


Let's go down memory lane, tell us your backstory! 

We’ve been creating on YouTube for almost three years now. Our first video was not very good! Ben filmed the opening clip vertically, Aune laughed at the awkwardness of it all, and the introduction was us driving to the arcade! However, it’s only gotten better from there! 


The first few months of filming was very awkward for us. It’s strange being in a public place and talking to a camera when there are other people around. Honestly, we still get a little camera shy. As the years of creating have continued, we’ve been able to implement new ideas and fine-tune the type of videos we are trying to make. 


Ben has always loved filming and editing videos. When he was in high school, he borrowed one of the school’s video cameras and made all of the cringe-worthy student films one could make. But it was this love of filming and editing that eventually turned us toward creating our channel. We had actually already been going to arcades for about a year to “advantage-play” before we started filming. (Advantage-play is when you use your sweet arcading skills to win prizes at the arcade for less money than it would cost to buy them at retail prices). It was Aune who suggested that maybe we should film our arcading adventures and see what happens. So we did! 


We’ve only ever uploaded our videos onto YouTube. The software we’ve used for editing has changed, the cameras we’ve used for filming have changed, and the social media we utilize has changed as well.


Many other content creators have inspired us! Plush Time Wins, Carson Claws, ClawD00d, Claw Craziness, Arcade Warrior, Arcade Matt, JJGeneral1, Arcade Craniacs, Bargain Barons, Moosetube, Drew The Disney Dude, we could go on and on. There have been so many incredible channels and people that have helped us and inspired us to keep on creating! However, nothing gives us more inspiration and motivation than our faith. We are proud Christians who have placed our faith in Jesus Christ. Our personal relationship with Jesus is the motivation behind everything that we do. Colossians 3:23 says, “And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men.”.

That is our motivation in everything that we do. We want to use our YouTube channel as an opportunity to serve God by spreading a message of love, fun, and the Gospel. We’ve had so many great opportunities already to share our faith with others and to connect with our viewers far beyond the discussion about arcades. We hope that will continue for as long as we make content!


How do you brainstorm ideas for your content and your advice in getting the creative juice flowing.

Occasionally we try to “plan” videos before we visit an arcade. I say “plan” loosely because it’s difficult to plan anything when making arcade videos. Some trips to the arcade are full of wins, and some are full of losses. However, when we visit an arcade that we know has a specific game, we will plan on making x amount of videos on particular machines, etc. So we “plan” videos in a general sense. Our conversation with each other might go like this: “Let’s film two claw machines videos, three coin pusher videos, and then five arcade game videos.”

The specifics of the video aren’t usually decided until we’re at the arcade and we can see everything that they have to offer. A lot of what we do is made up on the fly, and everything that the viewer is watching is unfolding in the same exact way that we are experiencing it. We don’t own any of the arcades or games that we play in our videos. We’ve never faked a video. We spend real money at real arcades for the enjoyment of our fans. 


What are the tools and platforms you use to help with your brand?

We use Final Cut Pro for our video editing. Final Cut Pro is one of the easiest yet immersive editing programs we’ve ever used. Ben started using Final Cut Pro, making videos for the church that he works at. So it was natural for us to continue to use it for our YouTube videos. Our thumbnails are taken directly from our videos, edited in Final Cut Pro, and saved as an image on PowerPoint. 


As far as other platforms that we use, we are on Twitter and Instagram. For our live-streaming purposes, we use OBS StreamLabs and YouTube. We also have a website hosted by wix.com. The website is https://www.thearcadecouple.com/. This provides a comfortable one-stop place for someone to find everything they need to know about our channel! 

What were your fears starting out? How did you handle it? 

The biggest fear starting was filming in public places! We’ve talked about it previously, but it’s awkward to walk around with a camera and interact with “fans” who won’t watch it until later. We’ve gotten much better at this, though. Just compare our first video with our latest video, and you’ll see for yourself!  We’ve also run into a few instances where we’ve been told we could not film at an arcade. This has made us more careful in how we film, and now we will always approach management first for filming permissions. 


Honestly, we don’t really care what people think. I’ve seen many YouTubers who are just OBSESSED with their numbers, views, subscribers, etc. That’s not us.

It’s cool to have a lot of views on a video. It’s cool to have many subscribers. It’s cool to have a video go “viral.” But, shame on us if we let our YouTube channel’s analytics dictate our attitude or mood for the day.

We are just ourselves behind the camera. What you see is what you get. So when we post a video, that’s it, that’s us. If you want to watch it and you like what you see, that’s great! If you watch it and you don’t like it, that’s ok too! 


We have interacted with many negative comments on our channel, mostly because Ben finds it entertaining. Again, we don’t really give a second thought to those who enjoy trolling in the comments section. However, we do care very much about the people who engage positively and have been doing so for some time. The community, or as we like to call them, our Arcade Family, is incredible. 


The generosity that they have shown, not just to us, but more importantly, to each other, is unbelievable. We’re biased with this statement, but they are the BEST family in the arcade community and on all of YouTube. We’ve been able to meet, text, email them, and chat with them about so many different things. We talk about arcades. We talk about faith, and we talk about prayer, we talk about life. The list goes on. We won’t take the time to name them all, but reading this, they know who they are, and we just want to say, “THANKS!”


How did you build your brand to where it is now, take us through your process.

The number one way to grow your brand/channel is to buy views and subscribers- just kidding. DON’T DO THAT! The real answer is hard work. We do our best to post consistently, and I think that is the most prominent brand builder. We try to post three videos a week, but that doesn’t always happen because of our busy schedules. We also tried to focus our channel on a niche that was so specific we would be found when someone searched for it.

There are a million “vloggers” out there, so we didn’t want just to be another vlog channel. We tried to narrow it down and focus on the arcade stuff. We post “vlog” type videos from time to time, but you have to stay focused on your niche in growing a channel if you want people to notice. When people turn on The Arcade Couple channel, they know they will find a wealth of arcade videos because that’s what we do. 


You also need to be your own biggest advocate! I’ve called news/media outlets personally and promoted our channel to them, and told them about different things we were doing. We’ve been on the news playing carnival games, and we've made videos for our local media outlets in Syracuse, but I was the one to reach out first. Don’t be afraid of getting no for an answer, because sometimes you might just get a yes! 


I don’t know how long it took us to get our first 100 subscribers. We promoted our channel on social media to family and friends first. My oldest brother Tony didn’t subscribe to our channel for the first year, because he wanted to be the 1,000th subscriber … which he was! We then tried to reach out to other arcade creators. We did many collabs early on, and we tried to interact as much as we could with the arcade community! This helped us get “known” within our niche. The YouTube algorithm is probably a real thing, but no one really knows how it works, so we just ignore it! We had one video that really BLEW up and led to a massive increase in subscribers, but again we have no idea why, so we just keep moving forward!


We enjoy celebrating the milestones when they come, but we don’t hold our breath for them. It would be cool to have a silver play button plaque, but that’s not the end all be all for us. We enjoy going to arcades, filming, and sharing it with whoever decides to watch. As long as we still enjoy it, we’ll keep on creating.


For someone who wants to get into content creation, what is your advice?

Our advice for anyone who wants to get into content creation would be to consider the motivation behind why you want to do it. If you enjoy creating, filming, editing, and you just want to share that with others, then do it! Go for it! Enjoy the process and challenges that come along with creating videos and posting them in a public arena. But if you want to make solely for “clout,” money, fame, etc., you need to realize that there are many more essential things in life.

Pursue your interests, do what YOU think is fun and enjoyable, but don’t do something just because it’s popular or because you’re trying to be something you’re not. If you want to grow your channel and you want a core dedicated group of followers, be genuine and create what you love. 


How did you finally commit to X platform rather than your regular day job?

I love my real job as a Pastor! Life’s not about money. 


Tell us your best milestones in being a content creator.

Celebrating the milestones is a lot of fun! We can remember being astounded when one of our videos got over 100 views! We remember when a video got over 1,000 views! We’re always flabbergasted that people would watch our videos at all! These milestones are fun, but behind each subscriber and view is an actual person. We cherish our first interaction with one of our viewers more than our first AdSense paycheck. We cherish the time we were able to spend the day with one of our fans and their family at an amusement park more than having a video that’s been viewed 500k times.

YouTube is not our job, so our opinion here might be different than what most of you are looking to hear, but we have so many “real-life” milestones that mean so much more to us than our analytic milestones on YouTube. The day we got saved, we were baptized, the day we were married, the day our son was born. Those are the milestones we celebrate! Don’t miss out on life because you’re too busy counting your views and subscribers. 


What are your marketing strategies to grow your brand?

We’ve stated this before, but you have to be your own most prominent advocate. Promote yourself! Collab with other YouTubers, get involved in the community your niche is in, comment on other videos, post your videos on social media. Don’t be afraid to ask! We’ve never even considered hiring someone for marketing purposes, and unless you’re already a MEGA channel, I don’t think it’s necessary. Do the leg work and get creative. In your videos, ask your viewers to promote your videos too. If someone likes what they see and enjoys your content, they most likely won’t have any problem sharing it with others. Word of mouth can spread fast!

How do you handle brand deals and sponsorships? 

We’ve had a few opportunities to do sponsored videos. We don’t have any ongoing brand deals or sponsorships at this time. We have had companies email us asking us to review a product which we would receive for free in return for making a video promoting it. We decline most of these sponsorships because many of them don’t have anything to do with our arcade niche. The last “sponsored” offer we received was to do a TV-show about “momma’s boys.”

They wanted to know if Ben was a momma’s boy and to record the dynamic that has in our marriage relationship. We didn’t respond to that email because that has nothing to do with our arcade channel, and frankly is one of the dumbest ideas we’ve ever heard. So we’ve only accepted sponsored deals for products or reviews that make sense to our niche. Many of those have been online claw machine apps. We were only monetarily paid by one company for promoting their business. We have just been given free credits or product in return for a video in all of our other dealings. 


Our suggestion when approaching brand deals or sponsorships is to be discerning. Many of these “deals” are not what they seem and some can even be scams to get personal information about you and your channel. However, if something seems relevant and you’ve done personal research on the company offering the deal, then go for it! If you’re a small channel, we would not consider seeking monetary compensation but look for public promotion in return. A larger channel might have more room to negotiate for financial compensation as they reach a broader audience.

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