This week on DevEducate, Erik Dietrich joins me to discuss what goes into creating an effective developer content program. We cover types of developer content, driving awareness, what he’s seen working with technical brands, what DevRel has to do with Disney, and how to measure brand marketing in a way that gets us closer to understanding content ROI and profitability.

Talking Points

  • Working backward in developing a content strategy
  • Figuring out where to put focus through experiments
  • Why driving “awareness” isn’t good enough
  • What early-stage founders need to avoid
  • When it makes sense to be an expert when creating technical content
  • The ultimate metric to measure that goes beyond views, leads, and conversion
  • Avoiding the 3 most common mistakes in content marketing


Lightly edited for context

“I think a lot of us start with the article in mind, almost like if you’re a developer, you start thinking of the solution first. But what we really need to ask is why are we writing an article?” – Erik

“I always think of content in terms of who is it that you want to read this piece of content, and then what are you hoping that they’ll do next?” – Erik

“If you’re really in it for the long haul, take somebody who right now is too junior to be your customer and then fix that. Over the next year, they’re going to consume content you produce until they are ready to become your buyer. And if you do that, the marketing funnel is kind of easy because they just trust you so much.” – Erik

“A lot of technical founders in the early stages will tend to view marking as, ‘I create a bunch of content where I explain how awesome my solution is.’” – Erik

“Disney is brand marketing personified. The day that your kid is born, you put them in a onesie with Mickey Mouse on it.” – Kamran

“The nature of the content you create and the channels in which you create them are really going to be informed by laying out how somebody goes from, ‘I have never heard of your brand before’ to ‘I want to become a customer.’” – Erik

“The way you use content in your marketing is so variable that it can feel like boiling the ocean. So there’s a tendency to just say, well, this is almost unknowable so I’m just going to focus on the tactics.” – Erik

“Run an experiment and fund it enough to get statistically significant data out of it, but don’t let it go on in zombie form for too long if it’s not working.” – Erik

“If you’re in the developer world making developer tools, it’s pretty common that you are going to be creating a category, meaning you are building something that nobody has an elevator pitch for just yet.” – Erik

“One of the things that's very much not lost on me is just what a tough problem it is to solve getting good data about your marketing.” – Erik

“Brand awareness in particular is a very long play that’s really hard to measure and you’re almost just taking it on faith from a lot of veteran marketers that like, ‘Hey, this will wind up being a good idea,’ you know?” – Erik

“A lot of people would say developers are a very skeptical audience so you need developers that are marketing to them. And I would say that’s true if the premise is instructive.” – Erik

“Performative content is when you are putting content on the site and there’s really no target audience in mind because you are not really talking to anyone. The paradigm is, ‘Look at me, look how smart I am, look how smart our brand is, you should do business with us.’” – Erik

Educate Tomorrow's Buyers with a Developer Content Program

This week on DevEducate, Erik Dietrich joins me to discuss what we need to think about when creating an effective developer content program.

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Hi 👋 I'm Kamran. I'm a consulting developer educator who can help your DevRel team increase adoption with better docs, samples, and courseware.
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