The Content Marketing Hierarchy of Needs [Slideshare]
By Pete Winter

The Content Marketing Hierarchy of Needs [Slideshare]

Discover how Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs can be applied to inbound marketing for a successful content strategy.



Physiological or Basic Needs: Content

This is the staple of content marketing, obviously. Without it, there would be no blog, no point in social media and no way of establishing your brand’s reputation – to put it bluntly.

You need content that:

  • Provides actionable advice
  • Answers your prospects’ business pains
  • Takes your prospects on a journey
  • Promotes your services or product
  • Provides technical know-how and expertise
  • Promotes your business proposition

What does this mean for me?

Content that at least keeps me in my job for a good few months!


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78% of CMOs think custom content is the future of marketing

91% of B2B marketers use content marketing


Safety: Evidence and ROI

Okay, so you’ve been blogging and maybe produced some infographics and other rich media, but this doesn’t mean you’re safe! Even a few social media shares won’t cut it – not just yet anyway.

Your content needs to:

  • Drive truckloads of the right traffic
  • Generate an army of relevant leads
  • Deliver massive returns on investment
  • Provide evidence of your proposition’s success

Basically, is what you’re talking about:

  1. Making you money?
  2. Supporting your wonderful claims?

What does this mean for me?

Content that might keep me in my job long enough to look for another job!


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Inbound marketing costs 62% less per lead than traditional outbound marketing

41% of marketers confirm content marketing’s positive ROI


Social Needs: Social Media

If you’re not on social media then firstly, where have you been? And secondly, where have you been?! Social media is becoming the new homepage for brands; instantly accessible and used by 74% of all internet users. So we suggest snapping up a Twitter handle sharpish.

For any level of brand advocacy, you’ll need your content to:

  • Encourage people to share it with their following
  • Focus on what your audience is talking about/wants to read
  • Get the attention of industry influencers
  • Create interesting conversations
  • Maximise and extend the reach of your audience

What does this mean for me?

Content that is at least liked by one person!


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78% of small businesses attract new customers through social media

50% of marketers see improved sales from social media


Esteem: Brand Reputation

This is sort of related to Social Needs but a bit more egotistical. Your content should not only appeal to what the people want, but it should feed the needs of your own brand too – although the people are awesome and it’s all about the people really… We love the people.

Is your content:

  • Driving publicity?
  • Maintaining consistent brand messaging?
  • Building a strong brand reputation?

What does this mean for me?

Content that at least I like to produce!


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“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” – Jess Bezoz, CEO, Amazon

72% of people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations


Self-actualisation: Best in Class

You can’t really get much better than this. If you’ve reached this point you can kick back with a Tequila Sunrise and bask in your success. But only for ten minutes, there’s still work to be done.

Does your content:

  • Provide a unique content experience?
  • Move your prospect into the white space and above all the noise?
  • Deliver above the expectations of the consumer?

What does this mean for me?

I have a content strategy that f*#%ing rocks.


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84% of marketers who said their content marketing is ineffective admitted to having no strategy

44% of marketers have a documented content marketing strategy


If you want to be best in class – who doesn’t? – and deliver a content strategy that encapsulates all elements of The Content Marketing Hierarchy of Needs, then get your hands on ‘The Key Characteristics of High Performing Content’ and channel your inner Maslow.

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