Getting your organization’s core value proposition in front of the right audience means making it easy for people to share that message with like-minded individuals. Compelling them to do so is the secret sauce to a successful marketing effort.

Some methods to encourage content sharing include social media, links in online material, and QR codes to capture both online and offline traffic. This sort of marketing activity occurs through the efforts of the audience, not the marketer, once the content has been discovered and deemed compelling enough to share. Creating such content improves brand credibility, which in turn facilitates more sharing. The more credibility people believe you inherently posses, the more compelling your content will become.

Compelling content is created when the audience perceives it to be highly relevant to their situation. This means the audience must find it timely and credible. In addition, for someone to expend the effort and put their reputation on the line by sharing your content, that content must be true, understandable, and devoid of hyperbole. Yes, “truth in advertising” is once again a primary concern.

Crafting compelling content requires understanding the problem that defines a market niche and being familiar with the intimate details of the solution your organization provides to that problem. It is the only way to achieve clarity when tackling the first step of content creation: the writing. No matter the final consumption media, the message will begin with writing. This could be in the form of a video storyboard, text intended for the website’s home page or brochure, or an outline for an investor presentation of a software prototype or concept. In all cases, the message will be judged on it’s merits, not its promises, as will the organization behind it.

To be judged fairly, your content must be understandable to the intended audience. Let’s say you are a software startup. If your audience is non-technical investors, then the core machinations of how you furnish value might be interesting only to those who would actually use your software. With investors the focus is on the market niche and how your company will conquer that niche with their software. Though certainly some attention must be given  to the software’s competitive feature set, investors often require more education about the problem space that defines the niche itself before they can understand your company’s solution and it’s relevance to the niche. In other words, they need to understand the “why” before the “how” becomes meaningful.

For most organizations, having their content labeled as “hype” by their audience is not a good thing. The damage such perceptions can do to brand credibility follow the content everywhere, making it difficult to regain hard-won market traction. This is because one of the determinants for the assignation of credibility is “who said it”. Whether we are talking about a historical document or the latest scientific discovery, if the author is unknown or not credible, the message is unlikely to be compelling no matter what it says. It is no different for your organization’s messaging.

It comes down to respecting your audience. Assume they will investigate all your claims. Assume they will click in their other browser tab, where your competition’s website is displayed, and will compare your message to theirs, side-by-side, in realtime. Assume you are on trial for your organization’s life every time you produce a piece of content. Taking that attitude you will quickly find your desire for clarity becomes overwhelming; and that hyperbole only gets in the way.