Founding a developer-first startup isn’t quite the same as starting a regular company. When your primary focus is on creating products to sell to developers, you need to build a sales strategy around those developers’ needs. The occasional email with a ‘click here for a demo’ button just won’t cut it. Instead, it’s time to work on your content strategy.
Why take our word for it? Because content is Moesif’s number one strategy when it comes to connecting with developers. And if you’re reading this blog post, that strategy’s working.
Feed Developers’ Curiosity
Selling to a developer audience is all about building your credibility. They need to know they can trust your product to deliver reliably and efficiently. That means you have to prove you know what you’re talking about.
But there’s more to it than that. Developers, by and large, are a curious bunch – they like to undertake their own research, dive deeply into topics and discover products from different angles. This means that you need to provide them with multiple routes to your product and feed their need for input.
Once you’ve built up your credibility and established yourself as a thought leader in your particular space, then it’s time to think about layering in sales. And if you’ve got your content strategy right, the sales part will slot easily into place.
So, Are We Just Talking About a Few Blog Posts Here?
Certainly not. A robust content strategy has multiple strands. You can hold in-person events, record them and turn them into webinars. Then you can transcribe those webinars and turn them into articles – for your own blog and for other sites that your developer audience visits regularly. It is when you tie all these forms of content together that you can get maximum value from your strategy.
At every point, it’s essential that your content is educational and helpful. It needs to deliver value to the reader, not just marketing messages. It is through this valuable content that you’ll have the chance to position yourself as a thought leader in developers’ eyes for your particular product area. Becoming the number one article for a very specific topic can be immensely valuable.
A good content strategy has several layers. At the top of the funnel sits content that looks at general problems and solutions – top ten roundups, blog posts, infographics and more. The aim is to create an initial awareness of your brand, putting yourself on developers’ radars.
Next comes content that shows developers how your product/platform/tool can be used to accomplish something. In essence, how it can make their lives easier in practical terms. This is about showing the real-world value of your product in different scenarios, all in a gentle, non-promotional way, of course.
And once your developers are ready to discover more? That’s when you can share your bottom of the funnel content – your in-depth case studies, comparison guides, white papers and more.
Sharing Is Caring
The work doesn’t end with creating your content. In fact, the biggest mistake that many content creators make is not bothering to share their content and get backlinks. Those lovely, valuable backlinks that will speak to your expertise and showcase your content as the resource that developers need.
Contrary to many people’s beliefs, content isn’t a volume game. It’s about expertise and shareability. Create an article that makes it onto DZone and you’ve got developers’ eyeballs on your content straight away. Make it onto Stack Overflow or InfoQ and again, you’re front and center when developers are looking for solutions. The same is true of any site that appeals to the developer audience that you’re targeting.
Clarity and infographics are your friends here. The more readable and usable your content, the more likely people are to share it. The holy grail is to get developers sharing your content among themselves, using it on Reddit threads and within community forums to answer each other’s questions. That’s when you know you’ve nailed it.
There are some quick wins when it comes to creating shareable content, too. A top ten roundup where you tag each of the ten companies you mention, for example, is a great way to enjoy ten easy shares on social media. Just remember to deliver value to the reader with every piece of content you produce.
Data is also important when it comes to using your content to connect with developers. The more you can understand about which topics and which angles are getting developers to sign up to your tool, or actively engage with your platform, the better. You’re then perfectly positioned to create complementary content that feeds the same subject that developers are finding so valuable.
So, About Sales…
Once you’ve created this outstanding, interconnected web of content, what’s next? Well, then it’s time to finally get your sales team to engage – and to engage in a meaningful way. Salespeople who genuinely care about developers’ pain points and understand their intent when it comes to the content that they’re consuming will be those who turn prospects into paying customers.
A developer-first company that does this well will stand the best chance of driving people to sign up for its platform/product and, ultimately, grow its bottom line.