When I think about most of the DevTools I've bought, it's almost always learned about it through some combo of:
- A cool tutorial or article
- A friend or or community recommendation
- Stumbling over a problem and frantically Googling/landing on Stack Overflow
“You should use marketing as a communications channel to educate, not preach or sell, when you’re trying to reach developers”.
Devin Davis, VP of Marketing at Cloud Foundry Foundation
With the above in mind, where can you reach developers?
YouTube is probably my favourite way to learn new things and it's a great way to connect with developers.
Below are two ways you can get started.
One of my favourite YouTubers is Brad Traversy.
I remember learning how to use Netlify and many other tools through Brad.
He recently did a partnership with mongodb to provide a mongodb crash course Everyone's upfront that it's sponsored but because the content is so good and Brad's audience trusts him to find great partners, it still has 50k views.
You don't have to partner with YouTube channels to succeed - you can build your own. Firebase are a great example of this.
Alongside great documentation they put out a ton of great video guides.
Their first presenter achieved legendary status among my firebase friends with his great explanations and cheesy jokes.
This video has 400k+ views.
Every developer relies on Stack Overflow. Except for that one CTO I worked with who suspiciously claims never to have used it.
As of March 2021 Stack Overflow has over 14 million registered users, and has received over 21 million questions and 31 million answers.
Marketing on Stack Overflow's actual questions is not easy. It requires expertise - we probably need a whole separate post on this.
I have made one decent answer on Stack Overflow in my whole entire life and it's probably my crowning professional achievement.
However, you can also run standard ads.
The ads that are being shown on Stack Overflow are extremely targeted. Here are some of the few that we came across in our research that are speaking directly to software engineers.
Neither of these ads are particularly interesting to me. I personally think you could do much better by actually being useful.
Dev.to is a great platform full of amazing content by developers for developers.
Some of this content is from hobbyists. Some of it is from professionals who provide incredible content while also talking about their own products.
For instance, Nader Dabit - a DevRel legend - wrote one of the most popular articles of the year - The Complete Guide to Full Stack Ethereum Development.
In this detailed guide, Nader talks about ethereum development, including tools from The Graph - where Nader works.
It's important to be upfront about your associations but it still works well if you write high quality content.
Dev.to also run ads, the Microsoft one below is way nicer than the Stack Overflow one above.
Let me know if there are any other channels I should cover!
If you're interested in how DevTools grow big, you might enjoy our Developer Marketing newsletter