Remember to support the full developer experience.
“User experience” encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services, and its products. The same applies for developers.
If you get everyone to your webpage, it doesn’t help unless they can use the product effectively. Even once you’ve acquired a user, you still need to support them over the years through your documentation and support. Don’t focus on top of the funnel context at the exclusion of everything else. Think about how your content will support developers through the whole lifecycle of product usage. That said, the rest of this post is a deep dive on reaching more developers.
Getting a user through the “first run” experience is just one step. It’s the equivalent of teaching a pianist to find Middle-C, or play a scale. There’s a lot before a pianist gets there, and a lot of room to continue to learn.
Make sure your audience is really developers.
One of the top mistakes Adam sees is companies not focusing in on the right audience. Just because developers use your product may not make them the right target for your content. Many products are implemented by developers, but other audiences benefit first. For example, many users think of Zapier as drag-and-drop, not a Command Line product. The best way to define your audience is by assessing who benefits most from your product. Your audience may change over time.
Focus on problems, not features.
No developer is out googling specific features. They’re looking to solve a problem. Chances are if you’re building a company based on the problem, you’ve encountered it before. Own that! You want to be the expert in this problem.
Once you establish what the problem is, have a point of view on the best ways to solve it. Not every developer will opt for your solution, and that’s okay. Authenticity goes a long way here! Parse accepted job applications to their BaaS company through an API call, which got a ton of developers talking about the company. Showing the problem and your perspective builds credibility.
For more on this technique, check out the Developer Mind Trick.
This is particularly important if you’re coming from a non-technical background. It might be easiest to understand the product by learning about features first, but remember to come back to why someone will use your tool.
Distributing Your Content
Your goal is to get your content in front of developers who are considering the problem. One hit launches can be great, but your core users will come from this type of evergreen content.
To that end, think about all the ways you can frame the problem. The more angles you can experiment with distributing, the more quickly you’ll learn about what resonates.
- Does it specifically apply to people using one programming language?
- Does it apply well in certain industry verticals?
- Are there keywords that people who have this problem often search for?
- Would it work well as a tutorial, a blog post, and a video? Can you show the same information in multiple formats?
One great way to distribute your content is through communities. It’s important to engage with the community, not just show up to self promote. Go beyond lurking, focus on the problem, and be as helpful as possible!
Regardless of the distribution strategy, consistency matters. As Adam points out, you can always edit the content, and it’s usually better than you thought. You don’t need five 9s of reliability.
Looking for a specific benchmark of how often to share new content? As Adam says the right cadence is “1–2” and whatever feels manageable with that assumption: weekly or monthly.
Content builds over time. Building up a library helps to keep engagement up, it’s not all about one big piece. The early indicators of a successful content program are:
- Traffic: Are people showing up and looking at this content? Page views.
- Sharing: Do people open emails when we share this content? Do people engage on twitter?
- Continued actions: Do they look at more articles? Do they sign up? Want to make sure there’s a good, authentic call to action do this. (Whatever would be a “lead” in marketing terms, or someone you can interact with in the community in engagement).
Want to hear from Adam? Learn more about Adam and his consultancy EveryDeveloper.
Originally published on Medium.