When to use a ghostwriter in your content creation strategy.
Storytelling Content Creation

Collaboration Key to Successfully Ghostwritten Branded Content

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In the never-ending quest to produce content that enriches the lives of readers, brands struggle with a resourcing problem. Who is going to fuel the content creation process and manage the distribution of all this great content? And when you find those people, do they have the authority necessary to have their ideas taken seriously?

Unfortunately, the people with the big ideas don’t always have a platform on which to amplify their messages, nor do they have a loud enough voice to reach a bigger audience.

At the same time, big-name business leaders who have a lot to say about their business and the industry at large sometimes struggle to tell stories through written content. That’s where ghostwriters come in.

In my mind, there are two definitions of ghostwriting floating around in the marketing world:

  1. Ghostwriting is the practice of hiring professionals to write content and publishing that content under someone else’s byline.
  2. Ghostwriting is the practice of hiring professionals to collaborate with you to spur content creation that follows a creative strategy. Then, publishing that content under another person’s byline.

What’s the Main Difference? Collaboration.

Ghostwriting works best when the senior executive does his or her part to help the writer perfect the voice, tone, and direction of all online content. When there is little to no interaction between the bylined author and the actual writer, the message can quickly become diluted and sound more like noise than thought leadership.

Its important to know that content creation, in all aspects of its practice, relies on a collective mission to tell moving stories. Having a central content marketing platform with a seamless editorial workflow makes it easier for executives, writers, and brand marketers to create compelling content that sounds like the eventual author’s voice and personality.

You Need Ghostwriters If You Cannot Write

Let’s face it—some people aren’t great writers, while others simply don’t have enough time to create the volume of content a strategy requires. But that doesn’t mean these professionals don’t have profound ideas that should be shared. Senior executives have gained a lot of experience to get to where they are now. They have spent time on the front lines and failed more times than they can count (in a good way).

To get these experiences published to a branded website, ghostwriters provide a brand’s audience with real value and build up their leaders’ reputation in the marketplace.

A ghostwriter can either come in for part-time help, or the brand can hire someone internally to translate the executive’s words into solid writing. This person must work closely with the executive, shadowing him or her on a daily basis to understand the executive’s mannerisms, train of thought, and preferred lexicon. When ghostwriters shadow the people they are doing content creation for, the end result is much more honest and straightforward. The ghostwriter can also begin to advise the executive on how to articulate a certain position.

Here are some best practices for pulling information from top players and turning their insight into quality content:

  • Conduct regular interviews with executives on how they view the industry.
  • Sit in on calls with partners, stakeholders, clients, and media to understand how the discussion changes for each audience.
  • Evaluate the websites these executives visit regularly for inspiration. These blogs, news sites, and entertainment hubs can speak volumes about what resonates with the executive.
  • Pay attention to his or her social media behavior on LinkedIn, Twitter, and any other professional network.

How to Use the Research

Once the ghostwriter has all this information, he or she must break away from the executive and work directly with the marketing team. The content creator will never get anything done if he or she sends every draft to the executive for preliminary edits. Instead, the writer should collaborate with the marketing department to take the executive’s ideas, mold them into content assets that align with the brand’s content marketing mission, and then send a finalized, edited, and polished draft for the executive’s approval.

From there, the executive can make edits directly. Oftentimes, once there is a filled-in canvas in front of someone, his or her true expertise shines.

The process may seem arduous, but it’s the most efficient way to get a business leader’s voice out into the world. A content marketing platform with a sustainable workflow makes this system simple, which is why today’s best brands are already embracing such technology on a large scale. If you’re looking for a way to get your leaders’ voices out in the industry, contact Skyword today and request a demo.

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