July 18, 2024

The Twinkie – Content Marketing Lessons

Twinkies and Content MarketingTwinkies

Content Marketing Lessons from the Twinkie

As we approached this up-coming Thanksgiving Holiday I wanted to write a blog post about how your content marketing needs to be like your holiday dinner. Then, a news event caused me to change course and I decided to write about how your content marketing and Twinkies.

Twinkies! How can we learn about content marketing from the Twinkie! Why the Twinkie!?

Many of you cannot think clearly about the deeper meaning of the Twinkie and what we can learn from it. This is because many of you have been thinking about the up-coming Twinkie Crisis and perhaps this has clouded your vision. I think that we can learn from the Twinkie about our own content marketing efforts.

Let’s learn from the Twinkie . . .


First off, few people realize that Twinkies are made up of 37 different ingredients. The shear number is larger than most people would think. However, there is also mystery and the discovery of the unknown when one even starts to dig in to understand. The study of the ingredients of a Twinkie reveals the depth of content and reveals gems of content that many never knew or perhaps even thought about before. Who knows that the one of Twinkies ingredients is FD&C Yellow #5 . . . just like mom used to make.

Our content needs to have depth and complexity. Our content needs to be packaged into a neat and tidy package.


Twinkies have also been one of the most popular snack foods of the past 80 years. Using words that Abraham Lincoln may have used that’s 4 score years! That’s an amazing run. Longevity does not come by accident. It comes from building a brand and by careful, thoughtful packaging and the promotion of that brand.

Your content marketing has to support your brand and the promotion of your content means to promote your brand. When you opened a package of Twinkies you knew exactly what you where going to get as the brand had been established and maintain . . . for 4-score years! You need to be on target with your content so that it supports your brand.

Reading Ease

This depth and complexity of ingredients did not make the Twinkie difficult to consume. It went down easy. It did not weigh you down. The 37 ingredients make the content of the Twinkie complex but while having complexity the Twinkie is easy to consume.

Your content needs to be easy to consume and you cannot cause people to have to work hard to understand it. Good content is well written and even complex topics need to be clear and understandable.

Shelf Life

Good content has a shelf life. Unless you produce content for the news you want your content to have a usefulness of more than a few days. An individual Twinkie has a shelf of 28 days. That’s a long time for a baked goods product.


Good content ingredients require good research. If we could talk with the people at Hostess and if (a big if) they cooperated then we could learn quickly about the ingredients of the Twinkie. It is a bit like being able to talk with Google about how they set the qualifiers for ranking position for a website. That would be nice but it’s never going to happen.

For the Twinkie, without learning from Hostess, we would need to talk to scientists, engineers, industrial bakers, mining professionals (calcium sulfate is an ingredient), chemists (14 of the top 20 chemicals made in the U.S. are in Twinkies) to learn about the ingredients and how to apply them and process them.

You need to conduct good research to create your content. Talk with people; interview people; research your topic online; read books and magazines. Stay on top of your topic and then produce your content. Do the research on your topic to know your topic inside and out.


Good content always appeals to your target audience and may not appeal to others. Twinkies are no exception. Some people (mostly young humans) love Twinkies. Discerning adults (your mom) typical have a low tolerance for this cute unassuming snack cake.

Your target audience will be delighted with your content if you do it well and others may not be interested. This is normal and to be expected. You need to provide the right content for your target audience.

Content Marketing and Twinkies

Can we learn about content marketing from the Twinkie? I say yes. Some of you may not fully appreciate the Twinkie. You may not miss it from our lives. Other will be heart broken and some will never know what they have missed.

For anyone who knows of the Twinkie consider the lessons we can learn and if we can apply them to our own content marketing efforts then this bring even more and lasting meaning to the Twinkie.

Gary on Google Plus