Measuring developer engagement is an important part of making meaningful measurements of a content marketing campaign targeting a developer audience. So, how should content be structured to encourage developers to share content to promote subsequent engagement?
Mix It Up
The most important thing is to feature content that helps with professional skill-building or training. Tutorials or how-to’s are the content most likely to be shared by developers with their peers. Why? Because it is perceived as useful.
However, there are important steps you can take when structuring that useful content. Even if your content is primarily text, it’s more effective if it is a multimedia experience. Developer challenge winners have proven with entry after winning entry that articles with a combination of images, code, and video are most effective for communicating concepts such as AI TensorFlow how-tos. Which content works best to share with each type of developer social channel?
Videos. Videos are especially useful to demonstrate that something is working. Short clips (30 seconds or less) are particularly valuable assets because they are appreciated as shareable material for social networking platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Code snippets. Sharing code is critical to demonstrating how to do something for developers. Code is much more likely to be shared in places like GitHub and developer-to-developer (D2D) communities like CodeProject or StackOverflow, where people are actively seeking specific help with programming problems. Articles with code are also much more likely to get shared and ranked highly in developer-oriented curation community platforms like Hacker News or within Reddit programming subgroups.
Images. As authors Oana Mancu and Roger Deutsch note, it is much better to give an audience an image that shows the goal or illustrates the steps along the way. It makes the article more interesting, and it helps your audience understand what they are heading toward. Images are useful to share in both social networking and community platforms. Consider transforming interesting observations, key insight, or even code snippets of particular interest to graphic elements that can be easily shared separately from the content.
For the Road
While developer audiences are most motivated to share and subsequently engage with highly technical, tutorial-like content, like other audiences, they are even more likely to share content snippets that fit different sharing formats. Brief videos are still the best to share for social networking platforms, particularly to get views and likes or similar types of engagement. Code snippets are more likely to encourage sharing in D2D communities and in technically curated community platforms. Images are appealing across all the platforms. The beauty of most text-based article platforms is that they can accommodate all these media types. Let the sharing begin!