What do a well-balanced diet and a well-balanced content strategy have in common?

What do a well-balanced diet and a well-balanced content strategy have in common? Plenty, if we use the concept of "food groups" originated by Ann Handley in her book, Content Rules. If health is the underlying objective of a well-balanced diet, then making those crucial sales and generating leads are the ones for an optimum mix of content types in a content marketing strategy. Read through the food groups and the associated parallel in the content marketing world to ensure a healthy mix of content in your marketing strategy.

Main course

The main courses are those large in-depth publications that take significant effort and time to produce, but once done, they attract the attention for their quality and research-backed information. They are substantial in nature but can easily be divided and repurposed into smaller articles if required. Examples include definitive guides and researched back insights on the brand's core expertise.

Breakfast cereal

This is the kind of content that can be eaten consistently; the no-fuss simple fare that can be produced quickly, like fact sheets and blogs or even short videos. For example, take the 15 to 20-second videos that Safeway got created for Facebook that focused less on selling and more on providing their audience with valuable culinary tips and cooking advice.


A power packed vegetable should feature in every plate and so should the valuable and educational information that is sought after by questing customers. When this type of content is produced often enough, brands will be perceived as thought leaders in their space. Colgate's content hub includes information from anesthesia and fillings to advice about changes during pregnancy and basically all things teeth related.


Just like water is the fundamental base on which all other dishes are built, data adds depth, context, and body to the articles and determines and guides next actions. Take for example Airbnb, who with their creative use of consumer data has messaging centering on community and local hospitality.


A special sauce or a spice can elicit a big reaction. ‘Spice' content challenges conventions, is thought-provoking and stimulates conversations. But here is a word of caution – it shouldn't be overdone. A controversial advertisement by Sisley (a clothing brand for women) showed how models were ‘addicted' to their brand and sparked off indignation while shocking some sections of the audience.


the desserts content is complete indulgence- humorous, witty and for sheer entertainment value, this content can be sparingly used especially by brands that are more serious in nature. But some brands like Charmin (the toilet paper company) go all out and have amassed millions of followers on their Facebook and Twitter identities through brilliant alignment of humor and the products they sell.

Needless to say, a content mix will vary from organization to organization and will need to be refined as they go along their ‘wellness' journey. But thinking about creating a strategy that includes a variety and balance is half the battle won.

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