Warren Buffett would have made an excellent blogger.

Unfortunately, he’s too busy finding places to stack his piles of money to give it a shot but he really could have been something special.

He’s been through highs and lows in the stock market, and has always managed to come out on top. Along the way he’s learned a lot of valuable lessons, and a much of it can be applied to content marketing.

Some of his best insight:

“Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.”

warren buffett content marketing lessons

Image: thewalkingirony

Success is not built overnight, it takes time. Every piece of content we create helps to further us toward our goals, but no single piece of content will do the trick by itself. The key is to make a reasonable plan you can commit to, because:

“Our favorite holding period is forever.”

Content marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Spend a lot of time carefully thinking about your approach because you’re going to be sticking to it for a while. Make it feasible within the confines of your resources (so you don’t burn out) and stick to it. But:

“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”

Be prepared to adapt your approach if you’re not getting traction. Get to know your analytics program for quantitative feedback and monitor social media for qualitative feedback. Pick a few key metrics and pay close attention to them. Learn from your mistakes and move on. But don’t get stuck in analysis paralysis because:

“If past history was all there was to the game, the richest people would be librarians.”

Don’t be afraid to experiment and innovate. Some of the best ideas happen accidentally, so keep your mind open, tinker with things and abandon best practices sometimes. It’s good to be informed, but it’s better to be in the field. Get to work and good things will happen.

“Most people get interested in stocks when everyone else is. The time to get interested is when no one else is. You can’t buy what is popular and do well.”

Following the herd will ensure that you’re always just one of many. If everyone tells you the best time to send email is Tuesday at 11AM, guess what? There will be a lot of email going out at 11AM on Tuesday. Send yours out another time.

It’s true that you should fish where the fish are, but that’s also where all the other fishermen are. Don’t be afraid to look for new ponds.

“There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.”

Don’t over complicate things for yourself. Adopt a simple strategy (like posting one time per business day) and stick to it. (Or, as Jason Falls says, “share good sh*t”.)

Warren Buffet doesn’t let distractions deter him from his goals and he’s about as straightforward as they come (for evidence, look no further than his website, pictured below).


Simple, right?

He has built his empire by sticking to his guns, doing his homework, and being in it for the long haul.

If we follow in his footsteps we just might build ours.

Hat tip to Joe Pulizzi for the idea for this post: 3 Things Content Marketers Can Learn from Howard Stern

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About Andrew Hanelly

Andrew Hanelly

Andrew is SVP, Strategy for McMurry/TMG and for one semester in college, was a sociology major. He writes at Brain on Digital, as @hanelly on Twitter and here on Google+.

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://twitter.com/AltitudeSports_ Altitude-sports.com

    As for the boat, the hard part is knowing when enough is enough. The reverse is that successful people stick things out. I guess that’s where wisdom and experience come into play.

  • http://www.russhenneberry.com/ Russ Henneberry

    Great post Andrew. I’ve often compared content marketing to exercising. We do 50 push ups one day and then go look for our muscles in the mirror. It does indeed take a steady and strategic approach to pay off.

    Thanks for writing this!

    • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

      Wait, you can do 50 push ups? I’m jealous.

      Seriously though, you’re absolutely right. It takes a daily commitment and time for any results to start to build. It’s daunting, but if you can make it a habit, it’ll pay off in the long-run. It’s tough to motivate yourself to get started when you know this because you understand what a long haul it will be, but it’s best not to think about that and just get started. Thanks for the comment!

      • http://www.russhenneberry.com/ Russ Henneberry

        Actually… I doubt I can do 50 push-ups and I am afraid to try. I can check 50 emails in ~30 minutes though! :)

        • http://www.hanelly.com hanelly

          That’s just as impressive. In a weird, nerdy sort of way. :)

  • http://twitter.com/jacobvar Jacob Varghese

    Good post. I also think that technology will make content marketing easier. If you cannot write good blog posts but you are great at providing content in the Q/A format…thats what could be highlighted on your ‘Blog’. Blogs of today will probably evolve to accomodate this ‘consolidation’ of effort. They will be able to leverage inherent talents native to the business instead of requiring plumbers to learn write blog posts and catchy titles. imho.

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  • http://increasingworkplaceproductivity.net Bojan Djordjevic

    Great comparation between Warren Buffet and content marketing. Keeping up with schedule is one of the most important traits of a successful content marketing strategies.

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  • http://researchpaperwriter.net/research_paper write my paper

    oh.. very informative. all that i can say is just thank you and it is a great article. i think it may help me a lot!

  • http://youtubex.blogspot.com/ U tube

    Lessons for buffet interesting to read for me. :-/

  • http://twitter.com/vizzmedia Vizz Media

    Great post. Thanks for sharing these valuable information. You are absolutely right Andrew. In the marketing of content, most of us become impatient and try to get results within a day or so. But to become successful in this field, we need to have proper planning, proper strategy and most importantly consistency and a little bit of patience.


  • http://ClaudeToussaint.com Claude Toussaint

    good comparison of Warren Buffett’s long-term strategies with content marketing

  • http://www.brosix.com/ Brosix

    “There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.” <–This quote is my favorite.

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