Why You Need Trust First

We learned a lot about how developers behave from Evans Data Corporation’s Developer Marketing 2017 and 2018 surveys. Surprisingly, the surveys found developers preferred to hear from a brand they didn’t recognize through email or snail mail. However, from our developer interviews, we learned how they think and feel about brands, advertising, and marketing. One important thing we learned from developers like Sacha Barber, Mahsa Hassankashi, and Sonko is how brand awareness, recognition, and trust influence their willingness to click on links in advertising, even in a trusted developer-to-developer (D2D) community website or newsletter.

How to Build Trust with Advertising

It’s time to woo your customer. Just as in any relationship, building trust with your audience and your customer, is a gradual process. Begin by letting your customer get to know you. Create brand awareness, and eventually, brand recognition. Give your customers high-quality experiences they value, and stick to the following trust-building developer advertising practices.

Trust-Building Developer Advertising Practices

  • Make Your Ads Useful. Offer something of value to developers. This is usually information. Then, make sure it delivers.
  • Place in a Trusted Location. Place your ads in locations developers trust and where they expect to see information from vendor brands. This includes D2D communities and related newsletters, websites, and forums.
  • Deliver On Your Promise. This seems obvious, but make sure developers get what you offered if they engage with your ad!

What Do Developers Find Useful?

  • Use Technical Content. Use technical content to attract your customer. Content written by the developer in the field that is high-quality, technical, takes a technical stance or position, or reveals problems and solutions is very appealing to developers.
  • Remove Friction. Whatever you are offering to developers, offer it  without too many barriers, like multi-field infogates or off-putting requests for a phone number.
  • Invite Them to Events.   Make interacting with your company an event, whether your brand shows up in person or electronically. Information about conferences is among the links most likely to get clicked on in a D2D newsletter (84% are likely or very likely to click on a link about a conference, according to Evans Data). Sponsor a conference or host your own. Virtual events like webinars and contests are also wildly popular. According to Evans Data Corporation’s Developer Marketing 2017 survey results, 74% of developers reported that they were likely or very likely to click on links to contests in an email newsletter.
  • Offer Training. This can be in-person or virtual. While truly a type of content marketing, tutorials are worth calling out as their own category. Evans Data 2017 survey results show that 87% of developers will share tutorials with their peers. (Talk about building brand awareness, not to mention trust!) And don’t be afraid to combine from the three categories of content, events, and training.

Trust-Busting Developer Advertising Maneuvers

  • Requiring Phone Numbers. Asking for information like phone numbers  when a developer is first learning about your product is ridiculous. Ask developer Julia Nash — she just thinks it’s sad. Others are more negative about it — They’ll not only leave without signing up, they also might avoid your brand for a while.
  • Pay to Play. Sure, developers understand that if they need to really work with a product, they need to pay for it. But just to try it out? Don’t ask for a credit card number when they are just trying to determine whether the tool works for them.
  • Not Delivering. Is the article you offered low on technical information? Could it be accurately described as “marketing fluff?” Then just don’t.

That’s a Wrap

Developers don’t mind advertising that keeps their needs in mind! Use advertising to build a trusting relationship gradually. As an advertiser, you have many valuable experiences you can share with a developer — particularly information that helps them do their jobs. These touchpoints with developers help your prospects get to know your brand, trust it, and eventually volunteer themselves as users and customers.