How Eric Okafor became the king of short-form tech reviews on YouTube

Eric Okafor has become a short content king with 83m views and raked in thousands of dollars from Google AdSense…
How Eric Okafor became the king of short-form tech reviews on YouTube

When an area phone head is invited to a beach party where guests are given phones as part of a “thanks-for-coming” package, many things can happen, including a YouTube channel that is now 264,000 subscribers strong, dedicated to phone reviews.

Before Eric Okafor started his eponymous YouTube channel in 2014, he had lived his life obsessing over gadgets.

“From when I was young, say 13, when the internet started to become popular, I will always go to websites where they just talk about phones. I will obsess and read and read. This was my guilty pleasure.” he told Technext in a recent interview.

When he was just a fresh graduate from the University of Lagos, a friend invited him to the beach party hosted by Tecno, where each attendee was given a phone and told to write about it. He was the star of the group which led to Tecno employing him. He had to manage digital marketers who the company contracted to talk about their products on social media. Then as these things usually happen, an opportunity presented itself.

One day, he was in the office and a new phone had arrived and as it happened, he was filmed unboxing it. That video was plastered across retail stores all over the country. He latched onto it, filming more unboxing videos, shot on low-end affordable phones, blurry as they were, posting them on YouTube.

“At that time I didn’t even know what subscriber meant,” he said. “It was so unintentional.”

In those days, the Nigerian YouTube scene was only just beginning to start, and there was only a handful of them, YouTubers. He didn’t make much money or any money. In months when he was really lucky he made about 30 dollars or 50 dollars from YouTube AdSense.

Eric Okafor‘s attention wasn’t on visuals, he wasn’t intentional. He made the videos with terrible cameras, unboxing phones, talking about them.

Fast forward to 2022, Eric Okafor has amassed some 83,262,538 views, become a short content kingpin and raked in thousands of dollars from Google AdSense and even more money from Sponsored Content, enough to have quit his job, step back from his Twitter influencing gigs and focus on the channel fully.

He was having fun with it, engaging with his subscribers, asking them what they wanted to know about the products, and posting videos based on the information they shared with him.

Then, phone companies started inviting him to their launch, sending him PR packages including their latest products. He created a structure for his reviews; camera, display, speed, battery life, gaming, and conclusion.

Read also: Ditch MKBHD, these are the top 6 Nigerian smartphone bloggers

The challenges of being a tech YouTuber

But being one of the top gadget heads in the country doesn’t come without hard work.

On average, it takes him about a month to create a single video. This can be a challenge.

“I am filming, taking three weeks to use the phone, writing my experience, scripting, doing voice-overs, then going to film the later part, then I’ll cut and edit for like six, seven, eight hours,” he said of his creative process.

This has taken a toll on him, causing him to draw back from long-form content and focus more on shorter content which he said he is “loving.”

“It’s fun if you like some part of it. I don’t like every part of the content creation process. Right now I only make short-form videos and I am loving it,” he said. One of his short-form videos has been viewed over 2.8 million times.

“I am editing from 8 pm to 6 am and I’m just exhausted. I will feel like it has taken a toll on me, and I have to rest for another three days before reviewing again. Sometimes you have like, four phones in front of you, on your table, and you’re thinking ‘should you reduce how much information you’re giving in your review so that you can work faster?’ It becomes a whole thing,” Eric said.

Over the years, he has risen to the top to become one of the top tech review YouTubers in the country. But he said the process is not as fast as many would think it is. For him, it’s about staying consistent. “Slowly but surely you come to the realisation that this is a long career, you know. One milestone after the other,” he said.

Having worked in the space for almost a decade now, Eric Okafor knows how important it is to provide all the needed information to this audience. A good review he said is when the video is allowed to breathe and is laced with all the necessary layers of depth.

“I can tell when a review has been rushed,” he said. “When at the end of the review, I don’t know if I’m going to buy this product or not. The reviewer didn’t give me enough information. If you water it down it’s not going to work,” he adds.

YouTube player

Eric Okafor on social media fame

Even though he has become a star in the YouTube gadget review industry, Eric Okafor still doesn’t consider himself famous.

“I don’t even think of myself as famous,” he said. “But I’m sure that everybody feels the exact same way, except for people that are actually famous that they disturb them every time they go out. The community is tight and very niche. They are not in the same city as you. They are not in your face when you go out. Nigerians are very proud and they’ll give you your space,” he said.

So what does a famed YouTuber do for fun? Eric wants the world to know, not watching YouTube videos.

“I don’t really watch YouTube videos like that,” he said. “I love going to the beach. The beach is one of my favourite, favourite, places to go to. It’s yes always, always. Dinners. Games nights. Netflix sometimes.” He just finished Netflix’s adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman and he really loved it. “That’s one of the good ones,” he said. “I liked it. A lot of it.”

What the future holds for Eric Okafor

At the moment, he is taking the time to really stretch his legs, to look for how he can give back to the community the secret that he has learnt over the years especially in creating short-form content.

“I am planning to host a masterclass on creating short content,” he said. “I hope that people will be able to create content right there. People that are going to come will learn how to create viral short videos which is something that I am actually good at.”

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