How to Capture a Developer’s Attention

You have a tool developers will love. Now you need to capture their attention.

Without developers, where would we be? They’re responsible for building the quality applications we buy, sell, and use every day, and their influence on products and tools they use is important. But there’s a catch to this audience—they hate blatant marketing and tend to ignore it.

You may have a great tool that developers will love, but how do you capture their attention? Here are a few things to consider:

  • Provide resources they’ll learn from. Sending an email about your product’s features isn’t going to click with this hard-to-reach group. On the other hand, providing them with highly technical white papers, ebooks, or checklists will build trust and identify you as an expert.
  • Consider the developer’s career growth and productivity. When marketing to developers, keep in mind that the knowledge you can provide them should be the first priority. By producing quality content that informs buyers and key influencers, they’ll begin to identify with your product and truly trust your company. In fact, 70% of consumers say content marketing makes them feel closer to the sponsoring company. When your content benefits a developer’s career, they’ll remember.
  • Be where the developers are. Sure, developers, like anyone else, are on social media (looking at you, Reddit) and watch TV, but where do you actually capture their attention? This is where content marketing comes into play. Developers want to know how to improve and stay current in an ever-changing industry where one helpful line of code can make a world of difference. Seeing your brand associated with helpful content from a respected source will build trust with your brand. If they find a white paper or a site that consistently helps them, they’ll pass it along to coworkers, and rely on you as a trusted source in the future.
  • Keeping it simple is best. As marketers, we love images, quick Buzzfeed-style lists, a nice color palette, etc.—developers simply don’t care about those characteristics as much. They want their information to be easily digestible, with few distractions. Your messaging should be the same—clear, concise, and “telling, not selling” have all proven to resonate with the developer audience.
  • Leverage experts in your organization. Use software developers and other tech professionals in your network to promote your product. They can write blog posts, speak at conferences, and create other developer resources at a technical level.

Successfully marketing to developers is no easy feat, but it’s possible if you build brand recognition and trust with this influential persona. At DZone we communicate with millions of developers every month and give our sponsors a trusted space to reach this audience. There is no secret sauce or perfected algorithm, but the trends above are present. 

We’re interested to hear: what other methods have you found successful when marketing to developers?