4 Tips for Creating a B2B Content Machine with Executive Ghostwriting

Executive ghostwriting can help build trust, demonstrate thought leadership, and rank your organization's website on SERPs.

This is all because, although buyers and online searchers value your content for its own sake, they also want to see a trustworthy face behind it.

Whether it's on your site or placed elsewhere, thought leadership and opinion pieces attributed to your organization's tech lead or other senior executives hold more weight than articles penned by your intern.

In an ideal world, your executives would write their own thought leadership content.

However, for this to happen, your executive team would need 

  • The writing skills to create readable articles that weave in your organization's talking points.

  • The time to devote several hours to writing and editing each article.

Beyond responding to the occasional ad-hoc media request, few executives have the time or the ability to craft compelling B2B articles at scale. 

That's why pairing your executives with an executive ghostwriter can dramatically boost your content marketing efforts.

Executive ghostwriting can dramatically improve your SEO performance.

You might be familiar with Google's EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) system to rank content. Since December 2022, EAT has a second E: (Experience).

With EEAT, Google wants to promote content authored by individuals with recognizable knowledge in a particular area, not just generic authors. 

Executive ghostwriting helps meet this requirement for great content. 

Here are our four steps to building an executive ghostwriting machine that wins attention from search engines and helps convince buyers. All without added stress.

1. Agree On a Clear POV 

Once you decide to use executive ghostwriting within your content strategy, get as many stakeholders as possible into a short meeting (online or in-person). 

This is your marketing team's chance to communicate the goals and processes of your executive campaign and front-run issues and roadblocks.

Getting your writers into the same meeting is also a good idea. The people writing your articles should get a chance to learn about the information you want to get across and pick up on your executive's talking style. They also need to understand the intended audience.

All of this boils down to a clear statement of work for your executive ghostwriting campaign.

During this meeting:

You will tell executives:

  • The reason why you are starting a thought leadership campaign and why executive ghostwriting is the best way to do it.

  • Your goals and KPIs.

  • The process for drafting and publishing content.

  • The timelines involved and the maximum amount of possible revisions (this is key).

Your executives will tell you.

  • The talking points they want to bring across.

  • Information on their availability and turnaround time to review drafts and make changes.

Your professional writers will learn the following:

  • What your executives sound like.

  • What kind of angle to take on different topics.

  • How to expect feedback.

  • What kind of commitment to expect from your executive team. 

The purpose here is to create a process that everyone understands and, ideally, agrees on. Sometimes, such as when writing articles for third-party publications, turnaround times can be relatively tight, and it pays to give everyone a clear idea of what needs to happen before bullet points in an email can become final drafts. 

2. Aim for Authenticity (Through Stories)

Great executive ghostwriting engages your target audience while getting across your organization's B2B talking points. The best way to do this is through authentic, story-driven content. 

The people buying from your organization don't just want to know that your product fits their needs. They also want to feel that your values match theirs and that the humans behind your business are trustworthy.

Finding story-driven angles on topical issues is key to achieving this kind of relationship with your target audience. 

It's tempting to try and reach C-suite audiences with overly technical or dry content, but this kind of content mostly gets ignored. Both your executives and your target audience are humans, and, like all humans, the type of content they like most is content that has a narrative.

For example, instead of instructing your writer to ghostwrite an article that explains the impacts of a particular regulation for your industry, you could look for a way to tie legal shifts back to a relatable experience your executive has had. 

Articles that start like this, i.e., what happened when a client faced a similar situation, can be a great way to build your executive's brand online.

3. Hire Great Writers 

The most crucial ingredient in the executive ghostwriting process is having access to great writers.

This is because executive ghostwriting is a tricky thing to do.

For a writer to succeed at it, they need to:

  • Understand your marketplace well enough to craft thought leadership content that industry thought leaders will engage with.

  • Communicate complex talking points to executive audiences.

  • Put themselves in your executive's shoes.

By definition, executive ghostwriting means someone else writes in the name of your executives. But, in practice, ghostwritten articles should read like your executives were in full control.

To find professional ghostwriters capable of doing this, you need to look for two traits: 

1. A deep interest in your organization's sector.

2. The ability to craft stories out of minimal information.

The reality of most executive ghostwriting campaigns is that sometimes your executives will often be too busy to contribute to articles that go out in their name. In the C-suite, the executive's attention can often be directed to firefighting crises. As a result, ghostwriting often falls down your CEO's priority list. 

Learn more: 7 benefits a cybersecurity content writer can bring to your business

You need writers on tap who can work off their existing knowledge base. Great executive ghostwriters can research and write autonomously, presenting your executives with polished drafts ready for their approval. 

4. Don't Forget to Distribute

Your executives are their own best promoters. Give them guidelines and assistance for distributing their content. 

As well as sharing executive thought leadership content through the usual channels (i.e., email marketing, your organization's social media), you can guide your executives on the best way to share content themselves. 

Let them know the right format for sharing content on Linkedin and Twitter. Give them a selection of hashtags and a pre-written copy for sharing. 

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Written by Laura Martisiute