strategize on content that delivers results that mean something to you (signup, demo, trial, qualified sales pipeline)
write technical dev-focused blogs, guides, books (following an interview-based approach with your subject matter experts)
design illustrations and diagrams to make it look good (and share well)
distribute the content for you via SEO and paid channels
And again, they optimize for your biz outcomes (signups, demos, trials) not just clicks and traffic.
Developer marketing insights
1. Zevi Reinitz guide to 1000 stars
Zevi Reinitz runs (not only) marketing at an early-stage dev tool startup called Livecycle. And some time ago he wrote down learnings from growing Livecycle’s Preevy repo from 0 to 1500 stars.
Prerequisites: Basic repo health:
A clear description of what your tool does
Well-structured readme. Show what you do, code snippets, UI gifs
A docs site you want to send people to
The first 100 stars - artificial growth:
Kick-off message to friends and family
Ask the neighbors in our shared office space
Show it off (for free) at conferences
First launch announcements on social media
Content creation: present the tool, directly and indirectly, do listicles,
Content distribution: syndication, Reddit and socials, your own blog (SEO)
GitHub lists: PR to get it on every list that makes sense
Other Sites and Newsletters: reach out to wherever you can
Relevant communities and dark social: go to Slack, Discord, Reddit, Whatsapp, LinkedIn and Facebook and spread the word
Paid ads campaigns: Ethical Ads, Reddit (subreddits), Twitter (keywords) worked for them
Influencers: list influencers, find collaborative things, reach out to them
Podcasts and promotions: get yourself on whatever lets you
Use cases testimonials: reach out to bloggers in your space, and see if they’d want to try your tool (and write about it). Some will
Hackernews: both show HN and share regular content.
Social media retargeting: whoever engaged got a templated message inviting them to try/star
Shamelessly promote other people and projects: when you can promote other people’s projects (and yours with it)
My (crazy) Github retargeting experiment: reach out to folks who were stargazers of other similar repos. Just ask.
Celebrate milestones: in public share your milestones and more people will get on the train
2. Header with tabs from Appsmith
What to put in the header when your dev tool does a lot?
I like how Appsmith approaches it on their new website.
In their case, they have multiple use cases they want to showcase.
But you could use the same idea for many features or products.
Show multiple clickable tabs:
It invites the user to click and see.
It hints at all of those different use cases
It doesn't overwhelm your audience with too much info
A bonus idea is the "Try cloud" | "Self-hosted" CTA.
It communicates right away that you can deploy that dev tool anywhere.
If the self-hosted deployment is important to your customers let them know.
You don't want them to look for it and drop from the page trying to find the FAQ.
3. "Life is too short" campaign from New Relic
Is this brand campaign 💩 or ❤️?
I like it a lot actually.
It gets attention, it is memorable, it gets reactions.
And it does speak to a product message: that you have better developer experience than other tools.
The caveat is, obviously it doesn’t tell you what they do in the slightest bit. So this could never work in a vacuum and will likely not work if you are an unknown brand.
But it definitely beats 50 flavors of "10x developer productivity" ;).
Need more developer marketing insights?
1. Work with me
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3. Bonus links to check out