Marketing to developers takes a certain finesse. Consider what experts have to say about marketing to developers:
“Developers are savvy consumers and they’re typically turned off by traditional online advertising efforts.” – TechStars
“…developer marketing is an oxymoron. Developers hate marketing.” – APIgee
“Faking it is very hard with developers. … keep it as bullshitless as possible.” – Snipcart
Developers hate sales tactics. So what can you do to reach an audience of highly intelligent professionals who are leading the charge into the tech frontier? Here are some marketing strategies that will help get your product noticed by developers.
Be Honest and Transparent
Developers are trained with a critical eye. Gimmicky marketing tactics will get you nowhere with the developer sect. Banner ads are detested, and even white papers (especially gated content that requires personal information for access) are met with a side-eye.
What developers value is hearing from fellow geeks that know their stuff. Knowledge of the product and its features will go a lot farther than spin. TechStars advises business-to-developers trying to market their product use clear, concise, and direct language, avoid overselling, and never bombard potential clients with e-mails.
Create Community Relationships
Attracting developers takes involvement in their community. Starting such a community from scratch, though, is difficult, notes Apurva Dave, the Vice President of Marketing at Sysdig. “Community takes time and commitment,” Dave says. “ Instead, being a participant in the places where a community already exists has been a more useful way to get started.”
If you want to effectively market a product, you must:
- Attend developer events. A key marketing implementation, events will get you face-to-face with the end users you want to buy your product. Events are also key for networking opportunities.
- Use Twitter and relevant forums. Social media sharing sites will help you find and join relevant conversations. Don’t plan on merely peddling your product. Offer something to the conversation, whether it be expert insight or research.
- Give it away. Developers aren’t going to buy your product without a test run first. They need a demo, free trial, or code sample. And you can give it away in return for some user feedback.