When we interviewed developers, several indicated they would only click on product advertising if they recognized the brand. So before you launch your product marketing ad campaign that invites them to click through to a trial or an API, it’s best that they recognize your brand. That’s why it’s so important to put brand awareness first.

One-Two Punch

Content and promotion. Give developers content they want to consume and share, and also promote it. The most effective way to become known to developers is to help them learn something. Sonko, as he’s known to his friends, will click on an ad if he thinks he can learn something—even if he’s not interested in the product. And tutorials are the type of content that developers are most likely to share with their peers.

Associate your brand with influencers with a great technical reputation. This can be through sponsorships or other arrangements. The trust that your technical audience places in influencers will then extend to your brand. In addition, that audience will see that you support their professional community.

This anecdotal evidence is supported by data from Evans Data Developer Marketing 2018 Survey. More than 15% of respondents indicated that the most effective way to reach them if you are a company they have never heard of before is by snail mail, unsolicited email, or banner ads. Additionally, over 10% indicated that online newsletters were an effective way to reach them.

Another brand-building step you can take is offering good product documentation. Developers like Marc Clifton turn there when they are researching a product.

When you do promote your brand in newsletters, Evans Data Developer Marketing 2018 Survey results show that the links you promote do get clicked. This can serve to build your brand awareness and reputation within the developer community. Far and away the most clicked links are to conferences and trade shows, so don’t be shy about promoting your attendance there. A close second is actually product information, with information on emerging technologies about equal. This points to offering content like education white papers that aren’t about your product, but a technology of interest. A little over 40% of respondents said they were very likely to click on links to contests.

That’s a Wrap

First create brand recognition, then expect developer engagement with it. When you build trust with developers, they are much more likely to engage with your product, free trial, or API. Reduce risk and build trust by promoting your brand in the professional communities that modern developers support and offering the kind of content they are likely to consume and share.