They are techies. They love dabbling with new tools. If your tool won’t help them solve their problems, they don’t hesitate to abandon it. They hate marketing. Who are they? Developers.
Developers are a persona who do believe a flashy pink post does not add any intellectual value. They are hungry for source codes, APIs, open-source tools, seamless database integrations, and a community of geeks who are willing to be vulnerable with their code. If you are a #contentmarketer targeting developers or #contentstrategist packaging content for them, you need to re-design your mind.
The generic cheat sheet won’t work. I thought it is necessary to pin a cheat sheet of the content that works for your developer community.
List of content types that developers consume
1. Q&A discussions on forums
Developers love to fail fast and learn fast. If developers are one of the integral partners of your audience mix, keep a discussion forum handy. Pre-populate the forum with as many FAQs as possible. Discus and Slack are among the most popular.
Store and publish as many relevant FAQs as possible. With answers to highly technical questions around your technology, developers find it handy to use information that can help them with knowledge on the nomenclature exclusive to your product and how-tos.
3. Help and support documentation
Help documentation is a must-have. Make it searchable and public. This is an ongoing effort with every new release and new product update.
It’s OK to publish more than one whitepaper. The number needs to be determined by the underlying content strategy for the developer personas. Include and try to communicate path-breaking ideas, the underlying vision, and related beliefs transformed into solutions using your product.
Yes, this is also a part of your overall content strategy for developers. Capitalize on every opportunity where you can present your brand representation to discuss new technologies, your target sector, developer hacks, and industry know-how.
6. Source code documentation
Too technical? But, it is unavoidable. Source code documentation needs the involvement of a technical writer who can understand and create quick placeholders where source code documentation is involved.
7. API and its impact
Developers get stuck in implementing your raw code. No software is good enough by itself. Integrating your software with other tools is what brings out its value. Make your APIs handy and accessible. Share documentation that explains the use cases, impact, possibilities associated with the APIs.
8. Sharable content
Create content that can be exclusively shared by developers with others in different communities. Make shareability an inherent function of your product. Social proof can be amplified by embedding shareable content. For instance, it could be a simple statement about the result of a product that developers created with your tool/ technology. Get them to share it.
I created ______________________ using <your product>.
Everyone loves attention.
This is a known trend. Did you ever explore the following of ‘The Cherno Project, ‘Learn Code’, ‘Dev Tips’, and the likes? It is huge. They focus only on programmers. The audience loves it. Videos have a higher engagement rate. If you have the bandwidth and budget, add videos to your content mix.
Equally engaging formats are podcasts. In fact, you can test waters do most of the learning with scripting through podcasts. They teach you fundamentals about audio quality and content that developers are willing to consume.
Although the video is a different animal altogether.
Choose your style of podcasts. Interview or monologue?
11. Use cases
Developers are always curious to know why and how can they use your product for the greater good and for their own immediate needs.
If developers are critical to your business model, flash use cases in the top navigation bar of your website menu.
12. User flows with your product’s impact
Visual depiction of how your product serves a developer’s purpose and provides value works well. You can start with this format before you invest a lot in lengthy documentation.
13. Online conferences
Most neglected, but the very effective content form that should be a part of the developer persona content mix. Developers love hands-on workshops, learning sessions, discovery, and coding sessions.
Make this happen on a regular and consistent basis online.
14. Invitation for developer-generated content
Provide a platform for developers to showcase their creation and talent. Hackathon is a well-known format, but you open-up your official blog for developers to showcase and write about how they used your product to solve their problem.
It is a good-to-have content element. But be explicit and clear in your mind as to why are you employing a newsletter in your content mix. Your design depends on it. Your objective could be lead gen, engagement, or upselling.
Newsletter helps developers stay informed.
If you used any other format that worked for your developer audience, please do share it in the comments below.