Everywhere you listen to talk about content marketing. In fact you still have not got the idea clear but the constant mention and the fact that the data point out that it is the only sure way of not having to be paying Facebook and Google for life, they make you think if you should hire someone, either internal or external, to develop content for your business.
Even if you are a personal brand, the fact becomes more urgent because your positioning in the niche depends on it. You’re supposed to find a way to make this work.
You want to give your bosses the answers they want, but you’re not sure how to handle the suggestion of an external writer who makes the content in your name or that of the company, ghostwriters or ghostwriters. On the one hand, you may never have worked with written content by one of them, and you may not be sure of its effectiveness, but on the other hand, you do not see how the problem can be solved without having a whole team of content marketing.
A ghostwriter or ghostwriter is a professional writer who is hired to write; many use them, especially politicians, actors and in these days of digital wave, even bloggers; the ghostwriters do not officially receive the credits for such tasks. Occasionally they receive credits as collaborators, but no more. Do you remember seeing in a prestigious magazine an article written by a celebrity? Most likely, that pen is from a ghostwriter.
Before making a decision, you need to know where to draw the line using ghostwriters versus producing original content in other ways.
When does ghostwriting work?
There are several scenarios where ghostwriting services can be useful in a content strategy. Companies inevitably need content that is not necessarily a creative jewel; some technical posts on your site, some trendy content, white papers (research papers), press releases and other content fall directly into this category. In these cases, it is more information than transmitting passion or experience, and ghostwriters are often all that is required to do this work.
In the advertising industry there are many copywriters, who during their entire career have developed texts that are quite well made for many brands and now, sporadically or freelance develop content. There are also the editors, who either work in some medium or are independent, also develop on their own, work for different publications; they are usually extraordinary writing, although they do not necessarily dominate the technical points of SEO.
When ghostwriting does not work
There is another type of content that requires the creative touch of someone familiar with the specific channel. Two great examples are social networks and landing pages – formats that although they do not seem complex handle very high bets for your business -. Additionally, there are those contents of the middle and lower part of the funnel where you want to bring users to be leads and customers and not simply to read or see you.
More than a ghostwriter who wants to intimately understand your brand, first and foremost you need a content creator who knows how to succeed on these platforms. The best writer is worth little in the battle of social networks if you do not know the rules of the game of Facebook, which are different from those of Twitter, LinkedIn or other social channels. In the same way, a landing page that does not generate conversions is useless for your company.
And those cases are the easy ones. It becomes more difficult as you need content that requires a deeper understanding of your brand. The contents of the middle part of the funnel, in addition to a longer form, require an understanding more developed not only of your company but of the entire turn.
Let’s make it a little more. If you need ghostwritten content to be the voice of one of your executives, it is even harder to get the tone and the details consistent and correct. Ghostwriters for personal brands work when they work on site and not freelance.
Cover news industry and empty those in a blog can be manageable for ghostwriters, but the more specialized and authoritative the content, the harder it will be to find success through the writing of ghosts … there nothing replaces the expertise … nothing. The authority lives alone.
The problem of personality in content
When you have the idea of having content written by a ghostwriter, it is important to understand what you are really asking for: deliver your voice and, by extension, the voice of your business to someone you barely know.
This does not mean that ghostwriters cannot be trusted, or that they cannot offer incredible value to a company in certain scenarios. But asking them to write the content that will hook or be the voice of an executive, is not necessarily optimal and, frankly, is not fair to them either. On the one hand, they may have experience in the industry but their knowledge of a person’s work and the person is not as profound, even if that ghostwriter has worked for companies in the same industry in the past.
Ghostwriters will not have your personality or that of your business, and for those who really know the brand, these inaccuracies will be easier to detect. Hiring a writer for the upper parts of the funnel is adequate, but to think that he can do it from the bottom to the bottom, although it is not a clear recipe for failure, is an experiment that is fraught with risks.
Find the right balance
Ultimately, the answer is not black or white: a ghostwriter could be a great investment for your company, but only if you use it wisely.
You can begin to position yourself by hiring experienced ghostwriters; I have personally met content developers whose writing ability surprised me pleasantly, but who have lacked the technical web components and background expertise in various subjects. What to do with this talent? Use it for the proper functions. It is best to make sure they do not cover more than they can. As they become more competent and reliable, you can increase their workload and the types of content they create.
In the case of personal brands, you can create a first draft that captures the ideas, and the ghostwriters can give it a good shape, finally, the piece can come back only to polish it and make it ready.
Working with the same ghostwriter over time can help solve some of the inherent deficiencies of the practice that we have already discussed.
In the end, each company has to make content decisions based on their needs, internal resources, available outsourcing options and economic capacity.