Sentiment Sounds Important
That’s because it is. We first visited developer sentiment last year. For those who have forgotten, sentiment with respect to marketing and PR usually refers to social sentiment, which is the emotion associated with your brand when it is mentioned on social media. It can also be a measure of the tone of articles mentioning your brand or competitors. Either way, it is a measure of your brand’s positive or negative associations. It’s basically linked to the emotions (positive and negative) your brand evokes with your audience.
What Makes It Developer Sentiment?
Developer sentiment refers specifically to the emotion that developers feel and the tone they use when mentioning your brand. If your business depends on developer adoption or influence, developer sentiment is important to understand and influence. But how?
Appeal to Developer Interests
How do you appeal to developer interests? Offer developers content that interests them.
Deeply technical content that helps developers solve problems, takes a position about an important principle in approaching a technical problem, and that addresses under-discussed but important technical challenges holds developers’ attention.
How do you develop content interesting to developers? We recommend the three G’s:
- Get technical
- Go beyond your product
- Give useful information.
Your brand will appeal to positive emotions if you associate it with positive developer experiences by providing content that contributes to positive technical experiences. Offer information that is interesting to developers about relevant technology — both problems and solutions. This should include code snippets and specific examples that developers can use right away.
Go Beyond Your Product
Walk away from the pure product pitch at the core of your content marketing strategy. Save that for the developer who is trying to decide about a specific product. But consider this: three steps before that, you are trying to connect with a developer who is not thinking about your product. That’s your chance to draw in a developer who can influence or make a purchase well before they are thinking about it. Impress them with the authority and authenticity of your brand.
How? Create case studies, how-to’s, and tutorials for a technical space, not just your product space. Use the content associated with your brand to contribute to a larger conversation than the one about your product.
Give Useful Information
Identify under-recognized but real problems, and offer solutions. Remember that most developers will find your content via a search engine. By writing content to answer a specific question, your content will more likely surface from a typical search. Your brand will be recognized for thought leadership (addressing questions no one else does), and making a positive contribution (by helping developers solve a problem).
Developers Have Feelings, Too
Developers have strong feelings about their work. Their emotions are connected to their technical philosophy, approach, and tools. Companies interested in connecting their brand to positive emotions for developers will spend the time needed to create content that is sensible, that serves a purpose, and that scratches a curiosity itch for developers.
Developers Share Strategies
One of the best reasons for making sure your content strategy focuses on technically useful and interesting content is so developers will use your content when they talk to other developers. Developer communities are chock-full of opportunities to answer questions posed by other developers. Content that says something compelling, important, and useful, and that is also accurate and actionable, gets referenced by developers to other developers. Once developers are sharing your content because it makes them look smart, you’ve nailed developer sentiment.
Apply the 3G’s
Use the 3G’s when creating your technical content marketing strategy. Steer clear of marketing messages, and get deeply technical with your content. Go beyond your product and offer content that solves problems in a particular technical area. Select that technical topic area where your product can play a role, when the developer who likes your brand starts to think more seriously about a tool or service. Most of all, give useful information. Offer content that gives developers something that lets them solve a problem they are facing immediately.