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From Developer to Advocate: The Impact of Technical Content

From Developer to Advocate: The Impact of Technical Content

When the goal is product adoption, there are many key players who play important roles in strategizing and implementing plans that turn developers into advocates of the product. Developer marketers and relations professionals are responsible for creating and delivering technical content as a way to onboard developers. This content can be in the form of blog posts, forum threads, tutorials and more that all fall under content-focused advocacy. 

There’s a direct pipeline of developers to advocates, and oftentimes the tactic that helps nurture these data engineers, developers, and architects into product advocates is technical content. Without it, there’s an entirely untapped market of unengaged users who are already in the online spaces ready and open to receive it.

Understanding the Audience

The very first step in producing technical content that is effective and well received, is to define exactly who your audience is. When you have a target audience well outlined, developer marketers and relation professionals can better align the content with the needs and interests of that audience. 

Fleshing out your understanding of the audience you’re targeting might be tedious at first but it solves a lot of trouble for content creators in the long run. The first step is to create a developer persona. This is a fictitious profile of the average ideal developer in your audience. They can include demographics or firmographics attributes such as location, language, their current tech stack or coding language, and what some of their expected pain points might be. This persona tool helps marketers visualize exactly who they’re targeting.

After answering who the audience is, next answer where, how and why they might be interested in content around your product. To solve for your ideal developer persona, consider researching and surveying general audience members. Getting answers directly from the source can help marketers cut out some of the noise within the developer landscape. Surveys asking directly what content developers are most likely to engage with, what they want to learn, and what format of content is most digestible to them can give valuable insight.

For example, developers are often online searching forums and developer communities for tutorials or newsletters. Developers are also likely looking for answers quickly, so short form content that caters best for 30-second or 3-minute readers might be best for some users, whereas long form content can be better received by audiences looking for more throughout answers and updates. Other helpful tips to consider is what devices they’re viewing your content on such as desktops, tablets or mobile phones. 

Taking all of this into consideration when understanding your audience will help bridge the communication gap between tech product marketers and tech professionals.

Types of Technical Content That Resonate

After you know exactly who, where and how your audience would be receiving the technical content, it’s time to strategize the type of content that would resonate best with them. Examples of technical content to consider are; tutorials, walkthroughs, blogs, newsletters and even video content. 

Content can be divided between top-of-funnel, middle-of-funnel and bottom-of-funnel content. TOFU content strives to build general awareness of your product, MOFU compares your product to others and presents basic features, and BOFU content answers all remaining questions a developer or buyer might have. For example, an article on coding best practices is considered TOFU, a broad list of top coding tools is MOFU and an in-depth review piece on a specific coding tool is BOFU. 

It’s critical to make sure your content is consistent, up-to-date, and uses clear language. The content itself needs to be viewed as valuable to developers. Having such in-depth documentation that is comprehensive and well-organized ensures you’re not only providing the answer to the audience’s questions, but that it’s efficient. Technical content can be extremely dense and having thought-out tutorials or walkthroughs that offer step-by-step guides make your product that much easier for developers to implement. 

The Onboarding Experience

Having well fleshed out technical content plays a pivotal role in both attracting and onboarding developers. Allocating resources and budget to onboarding developers can prove to be profitable for developer relations and general product launching. Strong and cohesive technical content can create a seamless and user-friendly onboarding experience, which are two things that can make your product stand out from the rest. 

To do so, produce interactive learning and onboarding resources. These can be troubleshooting guides for common challenges, short tip lists for best practices or even a nice directory for additional resources. This puts the developer experience front of mind which in turn solidifies the pipeline from developer to advocate. All of this will help foster a sense of confidence and mastery among developers you’re targeting to onboard. 

Turning Developers into Advocates

Now that you have a hub of effective technical content you’re funneling into, it’s time to build a community around it. Technical developer communities are invaluable and are major resources for developers when looking to solve problems. 

These communities can include forums, discussion boards or social media. They’re meant to encourage casual conversation and engagement. They are opportunities to share knowledge and create a safe space for collaboration. 

A way to continue fostering this collaboration, flow of conversation, and advocacy around your solution is to recognize and reward developer advocates. This can include highlighting or spotlighting the success stories of past advocates. This creates visibility behind some mutual benefits of developer advocacy. Also consider providing incentives for active community participation. Limited-time access to gated content or demod software or tools can all be seen as valuable incentives for engaging in your online community. 

Bottom Line: Technical Content

Creating and strategizing technical content can have a direct impact on a developers journey with your solution. Developer advocacy is a valuable part in product adoption, and creating spaces for advocates starts with fostering productive and educational resources. After fleshing out exactly who your target audience is and then what questions they might be asking, onboarding them as users and then advocates can be that much easier. 

Technical content can be a variety of resources that are well branded, concisely written, and thoroughly produced. In the forms of step-by-step guides, directories, cheat sheets or checklists, marketers use this content to nurture the relationship developers have with a product or service and in turn allow for advocacy in the future.

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