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  • Business owners and in-house marketers have an unprecedented opportunity to drive growth with video and podcasting.
  • The perfect video recipe is about combining these 4 ingredients: the Big Idea, the Hook, the Content, and the Transition.
  • You can build a content pyramid by starting a video podcast, distributing its audio & video, and repurposing into clips for social media platforms.

We interviewed Sean Cannell—YouTuber & founder of Think Media—on how to grow your business with video and podcasting.

Sean is known for his expertise in video production and social media marketing for business growth. He’s also the best-selling author of several books including "YouTube Secrets" and "Think Like a Video Marketer” and an international speaker. Sean's YouTube channels collectively have over 3 million subscribers and have generated over 500 million views.

Read on to learn how to create engaging video content that actually grows your business. Plus, discover why you should build a “content pyramid” — and how to do it, including tools that can automate the process!

Sean Cannell’s Perfect Video Recipe

The biggest mistake people make in the creator economy with online video is jumping in without a plan. This framework will set you up to create videos that lead to subscribers and even customers.

According to Sean, making the perfect video to grow your business comes down to combining the right ingredients. The 4 major components are the Big Idea, the Hook, the Content, and the Transition.

1. The Big Idea.

A great video starts with the topic.

Sean says many businesses miss great opportunities because they talk about the wrong things.

So, when thinking about the big idea for your pre-recorded video or live stream, put yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes.

  • What are their goals?
  • What problems do they need to solve?
  • What keeps your target customer up at night?

When you speak to your clients’ and prospects’ pain points and give them the information they need, they will stop the scroll and tune in to what you have to say.

For even more topic ideas, you can review customer feedback for common pain points & questions, analyze competitors for content gaps, and leverage your expertise on industry trends.

The topic will also guide your packaging, meaning the title and thumbnail (if you make YouTube videos) — this is your opportunity to get people to actually watch your content.

You could be the greatest communicator on earth, but if people aren't interested in the subject matter, then it doesn't matter. However, if you get the topic right, you’ll be surprised at what viewers are willing to overlook, such as low-end cameras and low production value.

2. The Hook.

Your opening is crucial; it's the hook that reels in your audience. Make sure to give them a reason to watch until the very end.

A simple way to do this is to tell viewers what you will cover in the video, highlighting key points. Sean suggests sticking to 1-3 points per video.

For example, Sean might say something like:

“In this episode, we'll explore how to boost your video views, reveal a secret for improving viewer retention, and don't miss out till the end, as I'll be sharing my foolproof video recipe.”

When crafting your hook with bullet points, be brief, be bright, be fun, and be done.

3. The Content.

A time-tested approach to teaching is to tell people what you will say, say it, and then summarize what you've said.

For your videos, make a point, tell a story to illustrate the point, and reemphasize the point. Aim to leave viewers with a powerful idea that makes a real difference for them.

Pro tip: Jot down your bullet points on a sticky note and place it off to the side. This helps you stay relaxed and spontaneous without losing track of what you want to say.

4. The Transition.

Think of the transition as your call to action.

Where do you want to direct your audience at the end of the video?

  • A website?
  • A mailing list?
  • Become one of your subscribers?
  • Or maybe watch another video you made?

Finish your video on a high note that leaves your viewers satisfied and eager to engage with you further.

This perfect video recipe works for pre-recorded and live videos, no matter which social media platform you’re on.

Master this secret recipe, and you'll be set to build a solid content pyramid. More on that coming up!

Build Your Content Pyramid With a Podcast

A content pyramid is about repurposing and distributing a single long-form content piece in various ways. For businesses and entrepreneurs, a podcast is an excellent starting point.

These 3 steps serve as the foundation of your content pyramid for your business:

1. Start a Video Podcast.

Sean sees a tremendous opportunity for businesses in launching a long-form video podcast right now.

This would be the foundation of your content pyramid. This long-form format allows you to produce a wealth of content in one go, perfect for repurposing later.

Focus on a specific topic or industry that is relevant to your target audience. And decide on a format for your podcast aligned with your strengths and goals, whether it be interview-style, documentary-style, solo commentary, or panel discussions.

Pro tip: If you don’t have time to edit it yourself, check out AutoPod — it’s an AI-powered Premiere Pro plugin that edits video podcasts for you.

2. Distribute the Video and Audio.

Maximize your content's reach by distributing both audio and video versions.

Once you have the video version (which you can record privately or during a live stream with StreamYard), you can extract the audio, package it, and distribute it to podcasting platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and more. There are tools that make this part (podcast distribution) easy, including Spotify for Podcasters and Buzzsprout.

While podcasts are distributed across Apple, Google, and more, video predominantly circulates on YouTube. However, platforms like Spotify also accept video uploads, providing additional exposure.

3. Repurpose Your Content

If you share 3 tips for X topic, you can extract each tip from the longer video and release them separately. StreamYard's Shorts & Reels feature can help you do this easily, saving you hours of time.

You can post these as short-form vertical videos on TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and more — as Mr. Beast has said recently, this is the first time you can go viral on EVERY platform with a single piece of content.

In the description section on each social platform, tell the viewer where they can listen to the full podcast episode. That way, your short-form content is driving traffic to your long-form content, where you can deepen your relationship with the audience.

Pro tip: If you don’t have time to edit clips yourself, check out Opus Clip — it’s an AI-powered video tool that repurposes long videos into shorts in one click. Combine it with Autopod like we mentioned earlier, and you basically have a team of employees editing and repurposing your podcasts to help you grow your business.

Parting Tips for Successful Video Marketing

It's easy to overthink, over-prepare, and never take action. Keep these points in mind for effective video marketing and business growth:

Schedule the Process. Check your calendar and allocate time for each layer of the content pyramid. Maybe Monday is for recording, Wednesday for distribution, and Friday for repurposing. Consistency is key to building an engaged audience that want to become subscribers.

Get Support. As an entrepreneur or small business owner, you can't do everything when building your content pyramid. Assess your available time and start by repurposing two clips from each video, then scale up. Look to platforms like Upwork or Fiverr for assistance with elements like graphics, freeing up more time for recording or serving clients.

Start Messy, Fail Forward. Done is better than perfect. Just hit record or go live. If you stumble, it's okay. Over time, you'll refine your ingredients and execution.

Craft your vision. Then commit to consistently producing a show, distributing audio and video, and creating vertical video. By providing content people genuinely care about, your videos can outshine even the most polished, charismatic productions and actually grow your business.

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