Clarity Requires Technical Authenticity
Successful advertising to developers rests on the same principles as advertising to any other customer — and first and foremost, you need to build trust. Brands interested in creating a productive relationship with a developer audience need to understand that the currency which builds trust in this audience is backed by technical knowledge. Advertising often distills complex concepts to simple messages. With technical audiences, this increases the need for technical authenticity.
What Is Valuable To Your Audience?
To develop an authentic voice for something as deceptively simple as an advertising campaign, you need to start with insight into the technical need, curiosity, or controversy that attracts your audience’s attention. Rely on the information that the marketing team has provided about the personas you are trying to reach. Look for additional data and analysis available about your audience — data and analysis like that collected by third-party services like SlashData or Evans Data Corporation. Lean on other resources in your company to check assumptions and make sure the information you are using is current and accurate.
Craft a message that is as specific as possible so that your audience doesn’t feel misled by a well-intentioned, but hard-to-interpret general message. Use language that makes it clear what is valuable about the offer conveyed in the ad. Write copy that is simple and descriptive about what is offered (for example, how to use a tool combined with a specific library to solve a common problem). Again, the specificity requires correct use of technical terms to develop authenticity for your brand.
Always Promise What You Can Deliver
Write ad copy that accurately describes what happens next for the developer once they act on your ad. If it is a download, make sure that is what you advertise — Don’t hide the download in what sounds like content. Free resources are always appreciated, but if there is a cost, make it clear. If what you are offering has value, your audience won’t mind the paywall, as long as they expect it to be there.
Authenticity Needs Accuracy
Developers acting on advertising are most likely doing it because it meets a professional need. An authentic voice respects their time and expertise. Authenticity requires technically relevant and accurate messages that send developers to a next step that fulfills the promise of the ad. If your voice is developed based on technically accurate communication, the clarity of your message will be rewarded with a perception of credibility and authenticity.