If you’re an early-stage startup trying to make waves in the developer community, distributing your content can make or break your success. Cutting through the noise and connecting authentically is challenging but entirely possible with the right strategic approach. Let’s dive into how you can effectively share your startup’s story to captivate developers and ignite growth.
It All Starts with Finding your Audience – Find your Developer Community
Before you consider creating a content distribution strategy, you need some background on your community and its likes and dislikes in consuming your content. Learning about the community’s expectations of your content will help you define the medium, channel, length, type, and metrics for tracking the success of the content. Finally, joining your community also gives you insights into the technical expertise expected by your community, the support required by your community, and network and offers a sense of belonging.
Developer communities exist everywhere in the virtual world; however, little can replace meaningful in-person interaction. Therefore, finding your local developer community for your technology is essential. They don’t have to be users of your platform. You’re simply looking for developer Meet Ups to start interacting with them, exchange ideas, discuss their and your challenges, and offer advice.Jessica Jordan, Staff Frontend Engineer at Meroxa, documented her journey of finding her local developer community in Berlin –
Jessica leveraged local Meetup groups and Open Tech School in Berlin. She also leveraged Google to find other local developer-centric events in Berlin.
Joining the local developer communities helps you discover newer technologies, find mentors and mentees, learn more about the challenges junior and senior developers face in their respective fields, brainstorm ideas and deeper into problems, and participate in workshops.
The wealth of knowledge you can gain about your developer community will help you :
- Identify the problem areas for your community.
- Discuss potential solutions to existing problems.
- Share updates with them.
- Help them better understand how they can use your solution to solve their problem.
- Start creating local champions for your technology.
- Create a strong sense of belonging in your local developer community and help them grow.
The folks at Sloboda Studio Kharkiv, Ukraine, pulled this off from scratch and have created a nine-step plan to create a local developer community. Their learnings state –
- Consider the niche you are going to work with
- Choose the format for your meeting
- Find good speakers
- Choose a strategic location
- Promote your meeting
- Create an online community
- Get ready for anything
- Hold it every month
- Keep it free
Local/Offline communities sometimes have limitations in terms of geography. Therefore, if that is a challenge you face, then you’re almost guaranteed to find online communities. It’s a lot easier to find specific communities for your technology. However, with online, the challenge comes with identifying the community. Online communities can sometimes exist on multiple platforms. You can find them using :
- Hive Index: this user-friendly platform categorizes communities based on platform, topic, and features, making it incredibly easy to navigate.
- Meetup: a great platform to search and identify events organized by your community of interest. Here is an example of some of the more popular meet-ups: https://www.meetup.com/en-AU/topics/softwaredev/
- Github: based on your interests, Github will find all the repos around your technology offering, and you can start to interact with your community members in these repos. @Romaixn on Github has created a list of some of the more popular developer communities on Github. You can always start with these – https://dev.to/romaixn/discover-new-developer-communities-discord-slack-etc-i9i
- Dev.to: it’s a hub for sharing invaluable career guidance, offering a friendly ear for support, and providing that much-needed motivation. It’s your go-to community for all things developer-related, fostering collaboration and encouragement among tech enthusiasts.
- Slack or Discord: both platforms offer great service for developer communities where you can exchange dialogue with your community in real-time and foster communication between the community members.
- Reddit: there is almost always a subreddit for the topic of your interest. You can always find threads on various topics around your technology and the discussion on these topics.
Before creating a content distribution strategy for your community, you’ll need to generate some content.
First and foremost, content creation takes time. It requires you to be patient and consistent. It requires you to work on writing, coding, video & photo editing and storytelling. In our next blog post, we will discuss how to create content that fits a startup’s resources profile quickly.
There are two major sides of content for developers – text-based and video-based. Both have multiple sub-categories, such as tutorials, demo code, educational videos, short answers, live streams, etc.
For Blog Ideas Generator
For Tracking and Optimization
For technical-based content, you’ll need
Examples of content creation for Developers
Example 1: Treblle docs for developers
Trebble is a tool for software developers to help them monitor and maintain their APIs. This tool focuses entirely on software developers and the team at Trebble has done a great job in communicating the usage of the tool to software developers.
They’ve used two different avenues to communicate the value of their tool to the developer community.
- The ‘Who is’ section is always a good place to start for any developer, thereby clearly identifying the offerings of the tool and whether it matches their use-case: https://docs.treblle.com/en/who-is-treblle-for.
- The ‘How to Integrate’ section or ‘How to use’. For any tool, it’s critical to get the developer started using it either by integrating it into their own app or by directly looking into the platform. In the case of Trebble, they’ve opted for an Integrations page, which makes sense in their case to start with: https://docs.treblle.com/en/integrations
- Finally, the ‘Developer Documentation’, to make sense of the actual usage of the platform and its capabilities: https://docs.treblle.com/en/introduction
Resources: In term of resources available to the developers, Treblle have hit it out of the park. They have created enough resources for developers of any calibre to get started with Trebble
Example 2: Middleware Docs
Middleware is a unified observability platform. Its direct target audience is software developers. They’ve created a set of documentation focused entirely on developers.
They’ve broken their documentation into the ‘Getting Started’ sub-section:
Getting Started with Middleware
Middleware Agent: Install the Middleware Agent(MW Agent) and begin exploring Middleware
APM: Install Application Performance Monitoring(APM) tools for your entire tech stack
Integrations: Configure integrations across collaboration, cloud, database, and telemetry tools
RUM: Install the Real User Monitoring(RUM) application to analyze and track user interactions
Data Ingestion APIs: Configure custom metrics using OpenTelemetry and the Middleware API
This very clearly allows the developers to target the specific section of MIddleware that interests them the most without having to ‘try’ and find the appropriate solution in a maze of documentation. Once you’ve found the Middleware solution that you’re looking for, the very next step is the setup of installation instructions required to get started with that solution.
Example 3: API documentation / Technical Documentation
Developers seeking solutions need swift assurance that your offering addresses their issues. Simplify access to your portal or developer homepage. Subsequently, articulate the primary advantages of your API or platform lucidly.
Render is a hosting platform for databases, apps, cron jobs, APIs and anything else you wish to host in the cloud. Render has created a wealth of helpful content for its developer community. Its content is broken down across two platforms – Github and its own website.
On Github, Render maintains several repositories. The idea behind these repositories is to create helpful projects using Render’s technology for the community. Sample applications are extremely powerful when it comes to content creation and distribution. It allows for blogs, tweet threads, and videos to be created around the sample apps and also makes the said content much more useful to the reader as they have an example to look at when creating their own app.
Netlify is a software development platform that includes build, deploy, and serverless backend services for web applications and dynamic websites.
Netlify generates a wide range of content for its developer community. Apart from its own website, they have a very strong presence in dev content on Github, YouTube, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Netlify creates a lot of content around how to build with Netlify, community trends in their space, parallel technology space and use feedback talking about Netlify.
This is really helpful because not everyone consumes content the same way. Some prefer to read blogs, while others prefer a video or, technical documentation or sample codes. By creating a wide variety of content in different formats, they cater to developers with all backgrounds. It puts them at an advantage over competitors as it makes using their platform that much easier.
Distribution Channel 1: Owned Channels:
As the name suggests, this type of digital content distribution falls within your realm of control and ownership. When you publish an article on your website, it falls under the “owned” media category. It means they are shared on a platform you have full authority over.
You can determine how the content is presented and when it is shared. It serves as your exclusive digital content distribution platform, fully under your jurisdiction.
Typical channels for distributing “owned content” include:
- Your blog section. Example: Mozilla Developer Blog
- Your email newsletters. Example: Mozilla Newsletter
- Your video channels Example: Mozilla/Firefox YouTube channel
- Your apps Example: Mozilla Sample Extensions
- Your social media profiles: Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Dev.to, Twitch, YouTube, Discord, Slack
Distribution Channel 2: Content Distribution to 3rd party communities
Distribute content to 3rd party communities where your developer audience hangs out, like Reddit, Slack, HackerNews, Dev.To, Twitter and Linkedin. You can leverage these platforms to bring traffic back to your site, especially when you are just starting out and your SEO still needs to develop fully. The thing to bear in mind is to make sure you have repurposed the content style and format for that particular community. For example, a tweet will be different than a LinkedIn post, even though you might distribute the same content to both platforms.
Gui Ferreira and his blog can be a great example of this. Gui repurposes his developer-centric content as a video and a blog. They both work in tandem. For example, Gui wrote a blog on Refactoring C# Code with the Chain of Responsibility Design Pattern and published it on his website and also on YouTube to complement the blog. It allows the audience to reach via two platforms by turning each platform to drive traffic to the other. Gui and his community then have the freedom to further distribute both pieces of content to other 3rd party communities, such as Reddit, Twitter, Slack, or wherever the discussion is happening on the subject.
Distribution Channel 3: Earned Content Distribution
Content distribution is considered earned when others share it. It occurs when individuals, like social media influencers or bloggers, share your content with their followers. Actions such as tweets, mentions, reposts, recommendations, product reviews, and even high rankings on search engines are all examples of earned content distribution. Here, we have seen teams hiring a devrel on a contractor basis to distribute content in different social channels. Alternatively, you can reach out to your early champion users and get them to make some noises for you.
Example 1: Twitter
Example 2: Reddit:
Example 3: Product Hunt
Example 4: Twitch
Creating a content distribution strategy is only half complete if you can’t track the impact of your content, irrespective of the part you take to distribute your content. That’s where Krunch comes in.
Krunch Data – has a singular focus of solving the problem of accurately measuring conversion (signups, stars, forks, followers, etc)/referrals attributed to your content specifically across the internet. Content here can be a tweet, Reddit post, LinkedIn post, Slack thread, Discord discussion, blog, video or a livestream. It’s imperative to know exactly which piece and type of content is working or not working at any given point in your campaign. Krunch solves this problem by measuring conversion from your content to any webpage and measures the conversion of a potential user on your targeted page. It creates a direct relationship between the content you publish, your publicity and the ROI of that content.
With the measuring of conversion being automatically captured by Krunch, 50% of your work becomes automated. Tracking conversion daily via Krunch allows you to repeatedly carry out a sense check of your content’s performance and optimize accordingly. It is greatly beneficial as you get to hear directly what your users/customers want.