Hierarchy of Needs in Content Creation and SEO Copywriting
What we will talk about in the text in front of you is what the hierarchy of needs in creating content means, and do you know how to define, set it and, in accordance with it, act? And what does SEO copywriting have to do with it?
Creating content that turns the audience into clients and customers means knowing who you are writing for, who your audience is, where you are looking for it, what they are looking for, what they are interested in, what they like… in short, what their needs are.
When we talk about the needs of your target group, if we do not apply some kind of systematization, there is a great possibility that you will get lost in the sea of needs and skip some on the basis of which the client/customer makes a decision. In the 1940s, the American psychologist Abraham Maslow theorized that people take every action in order to meet certain needs. And since the number of human needs is infinite, Maslow grouped them and created a hierarchy of needs.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs
Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs consists of five groups and these are from the lowest to the highest:
- Physiological needs: the need for food, water, oxygen, sleep, sex.
- Safety needs: safe life, permanent job, the safety of family, health, property.
- Belonging needs: friendship, family, sexual intimacy.
- Needs for respect: self-esteem, success, respect for others, recognition of own success.
- Self-realization needs: morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem-solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts.
The first four levels are also called deficiency needs and are related to physical needs. Meeting these needs helps a person grow and develop as a human being. Unlike those who have to be satisfied, the fifth level is constantly evolving. The basic assumption is that higher-level needs from this hierarchy arise only after the lower-level needs are met – mostly or completely. When one need is satisfied, the importance of its motivational role decreases, but then the other need quickly takes its place and becomes an instigator and a source of motivation.
How Does the Hierarchy of Needs Affect the Creation of Online Content?
Think for a moment about the headlines that are served to us every day from various portals and networks, not to mention the content of tabloids. And then think about most people’s activities online, their Facebook and Instagram profiles, the need for photographic documentation and sharing every moment, selfie culture, the flood of omniscient individuals on social media, the influencer phenomenon…
After that, go back to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and you will surely find an explanation for many of today’s online phenomena.
How to Use Hierarchy for the Purpose of SEO Copywriting?
The logical question that follows is: How to use Maslow’s hierarchy in content creation and in an essential aspect of professional presence – SEO copywriting?
The use of the hierarchy of needs in creating content goes into four basic steps that are further elaborated as needed:
- Target group analysis depending on the product or service you offer,
- Definition of the need or needs for which you offer a solution,
- Defining content, keywords that will attract visitors to the content, communication channels, follow-ups, corrective measures, analytics…
Let’s start in order, from the very bottom of the pyramid with concrete examples of how needs determine the approach to content creation and defining titles as an essential element of SEO copywriting:
Although it sounds quite banal and satisfying (except maybe sex…), this level of needs is extremely important, especially in the food and food services industry (restaurants, outdoor markets, supermarkets…), the pharmaceutical industry (especially the supplement industry), awareness campaigns, marketing of health care institutions, wellness, SPA, and the like. The task is to help your target group meet these needs in a healthier and more efficient way, thus taking care not only of themselves but also of their families and loved ones.
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It was simple for our ancestors – they caught food, found a cave, and maintained a fire. And that would be it out of safety needs. In modern society, the view of safety needs is a little different: we want a secure job, enough money, good health insurance for us and our family, our own apartment, a good system of protection against burglary and damage, a safe car that will not let us down halfway to the seaside and in which our loved ones will be maximally protected…
Nowadays, this list has significantly expanded to the online security of our business documents, private data, online accounts, the safety of our children… So, if you are in the field of insurance or in any industry that deals with security (including online security), meeting security needs is at the core of content creation. But almost any industry – B2B or B2C – can find its way to the target group through the need to make a person or organization feel safe.
When creating content in accordance with SEO-copywriting rules, you must ask yourselves the question: What is your target group afraid of and how can you help them cope with that fear? Then look for ways to answer that question through powerful and engaging content and choosing the right keywords/phrases.
- How important insurance is and why you should ensure your home and family.
- How to strengthen the immunity of children and protect them when they go to kindergarten and school?
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Since we have met physiological needs and feel safe, the next level of needs that motivates us is the need to be loved and to feel belonging to a group. When we think of love or belonging, for most, family and the closest circle of friends are first in mind. But our need to love, be loved, and belong to a group is much broader and includes our associates, colleagues, bosses, clients, local shop salesman, butcher, kindergarten teacher, local sports clubs and organizations, a favorite cafe where everyone knows each other…
How can a content manager meet this need for love and belonging? First, he can improve his own relationships with the target group through various initiatives such as posting on social networks that attract people of the same interests, creating a thank you coupon (via email or downloading exclusive content or discounts on services and goods), closed Facebook groups…
We can also create content that will ‘play’ the card of these needs:
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Needs for Respect
This level of needs is the second most complicated, and that gives the content creator a lot of room to create but also to make mistakes and lose focus. The simplest explanation of these needs is that we want others to think well of us (respect others) and, at the same time, to build a beautiful image of ourselves (self-esteem). There are two words around which the creation of perfect content revolves: respect and separation.
At this level of need, it is not enough to claim that something or someone is good, but it needs to be ‘better’ – that is, an attack on the competition. Of course, if we are talking about people and not products, most people would be reluctant to declare for themselves, out of the blue, that they are better than their colleagues. But, if, according to the choice of the company, your colleague and you were declared the workers of the year, this separation would please you.
As content creators, your task is to show the target group how your product or service allows you to stand out and gain a higher level than the competition and the environment.
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Unlike the previous four levels that can be met, the highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is constantly evolving. Self-realization or self-actualization gives us the ultimate goal to which we are led by the satisfaction of all other needs. It is reaching our full potential, of course, if we use it. Self-realization characterizes not only top athletes like Novak Djoković and scientists like Nikola Tesla, but also a full-time mother who loves her role, enjoys it every day, and through such a relationship raises healthy, hard-working, and well-behaved children.
The problem with self-realization is that it never ends as long as we breathe. After one tournament, preparations for the next one begin; after a successful business year, the bar rises for the next year; a successfully completed high school is just a ticket to an even more demanding college; the bestselling writer is already thinking about his next masterpiece…
What the Hierarchy of Content Creation Needs Means for Content Managers?
Let’s go back to the steps in using the content hierarchy in creating content and do the following:
- Determine the target group,
- Define the need that our product satisfies (in this case, in self-actualization),
- Prepare the content so that the keywords attract exactly the necessary target group, and your content presents the product or service so that the potential client sees a solution for their need for self-actualization.
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That’s it! You have reached the top of Maslow’s pyramid of needs. What matters is that you now consider whether you have taken the right approach in preparing content for your blog or other posts.
The Goals of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in Content Creation
The hierarchy of needs shows that the solution for reaching the target groups online and winning them does not have to be within a large marketing budget but it must satisfy the following:
Own Communication Channel – Website/Blog
Although very important, it is not enough to be only on social networks. Your content needs to be on a communication channel that you personally control. A business blog is one of the best and highest quality ways to raise awareness and share relevant information about your product, service, or company.
And if you don’t already have your place on the net, today 24 hours is enough to build your website, especially if you decide to create it with the help of platforms intended for that purpose (such as various website builders). Regardless of that, you need a little more to become a blogging professional – skip the part with a failure and learn to blog like a pro from scratch.
Perfect SEO Copywriting
Perfect SEO copywriting will allow the content from your blog to find its place on the first pages of search engines and be seen by the right target group – without investing in advertisements.
This primarily means knowing the topic, researching, choosing the right keywords, and using the right text structure and analytics.
Creating Visuals That Convert
By creating visuals that convert, you no longer need a super-computer and programs that only a few people in your city know can use.
On your own, with your phone, simple drag & drop apps, create the perfect content for Instagram, Facebook, and other social networks. As well as for your blog.