In 2006, at the ripe age of 21, Nick Santillo was developing a business plan for his first content marketing agency, Voltier Digital. By the time the general marketing field caught wind of the power of content marketing, Nick had already made a successful acquisition of Voltier Digital.



Next, he was off building a new, pioneering agency--Fractl. And it had an innovative goal: a research-based approach to creating viral content that could be partnered with the Web's leading publishers.

Today, he's sharing his decades' worth of experience and insights that could help your business succeed.

Explain your role at Fractl

As Fractl's President, I'm responsible for the vision, strategic direction, and value creation for our stakeholders--clients, employees, and shareholders. I've followed trends within the marketing industry, which ultimately resulted in my co-creation of Fractl, a content marketing agency. Daily, I work with our functional departments on improving the quality, consistency, and efficiency of the experiences and results we deliver to our clients.

How have you seen content marketing change over time?

I began tracking the evolution of content quality in 2006. At the time, it was primitive when compared to the interactive treatments we're capable of producing and consuming today. In the early days, we explored virality by writing compelling articles and submitting them to popular social news aggregators such as Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, and Fark. Even then, our ability to generate massive volumes of traffic, links, and social reach had a transformational impact on our client's websites. The internet has changed significantly since the mid-2000s, but the basic fact that high-quality content can help people achieve many marketing goals still rings true today.

Which goals are successful content marketers achieving?

Increasing organic traffic
Improving brand awareness and engagement
Converting better customers
Increasing social engagement

What should businesses be doing to remain competitive?

The most progressive companies have realized that to stay competitive online, they themselves must become content publishers. Brands should invest in hiring individuals trained to navigate the publishing arena successfully: writers, editors, designers, developers, digital PR specialists, and content managers. Whether brands hire an agency like Fractl or build an internal grassroots team, this is the future of content marketing.