What Is That Loud Sucking Sound?

Whether you have produced content in-house or have it produced for you, content is a huge investment. Your content marketing campaign likely feels like a vacuum of endless content need. However, it’s doubtful you have the budget to feed what seems like a force of nature. No worries — Repurposing content allows you to maximize your investment and provide a seemingly infinite content source for your campaign, including your social media campaigns.

Why Social Media?

Social media networks are just one of many channels where you will find a developer audience. Serving content on social media is not magic; it’s just necessary, as is creating consumable content for other distribution channels. So, how do you develop a snack-size content campaign based on technically rich content?

Consider Your Audience

You should start with a clear understanding of why developers are using social media to begin with. Well, aside from their personal use, they use it for professional engagement. Evans Data Corporation surveyed developers and reported that most use social media networks for career development, industry news, and skills development. To a lesser extent, developers head to social media looking for help to solve a technical problem. And the fact is that many developers are on social media channels for the same reason everyone is — for entertainment. So a little infotainment goes a long way.

Consider the Channel

Each content distribution channel has a purpose and strength. Social media networks are no different …

Matthew Pruitt, Head of Global Community and Social Media for Unity, talks about the importance of utilizing social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to capitalize on their strengths in his chapter titled “Developing the Right Mindset to Create Great Content” in Developer Marketing: An Essential Guide, published by Slash Data.

Let’s take a look at the strengths of several channels:

  • Facebook. Pruitt suggests that this is best used for brand awareness because it has a more general audience searching for great content.
  • Twitter. While Pruitt finds Twitter’s strength to be primarily in its potential for one-on-one connections, Evans Data’s 2019 Developer Marketing Survey results suggest it is also simply a place where developers go for news and information. They are likely to curate their Twitter feed to follow sources they find trustworthy in the industry and include companies, peers, and developer influencers, and follow them as a way of staying up-to-date technically and professionally.
  • LinkedIn. Data from the Evans Data 2019 Developer Marketing Survey reveals that >95% of developers belong to one or more LinkedIn Groups.
  • YouTube. Because YouTube is the largest search engine besides Google, Pruitt recommends hosting all your videos on a branded YouTube page.

Keepin’ It Snacky

In order for this to succeed, you need to optimize your content for the social network format.

Keep your social media content:

  • Visual
  • Brief
  • Interesting
  • Linked to more information (more content!)

In writing your post text, you probably can’t get away with an oversimplified “45 Ways to…” or “3 Things You Wish You Knew About,” but you can capture interest by offering pithy text to explain your visual, and adding a link that connects to a developer’s desire to consume content that can help build their careers, skills, or keep up with developments in an industry. Offer concrete value to a developer audience like “Learn X” or “Build Y with Z.”

Use images, short (15-second) videos, and links that provide more information if someone is interested.

What About My Expensive, Beautiful Content?

Maximize your existing content by creating smaller chunks that can be shared visually and can be linked to your original, more complete content. For example, create an infographic from more complicated text to highlight a technical takeaway. Then use that post to point to a deeper dive like a white paper. Use images and videos that capture interest by highlighting a fun fact, an important lesson, or an easily missed (but important) point, then link to a how-to article or tutorial.

For the Road

Maximizing your content is necessary to extract the most benefit from your investment and satisfy the demands of your content marketing campaigns. Social media is just one of many channels where you will find your audience some of the time, so you can’t afford not to be there. Remember why developers are there, and offer smaller, shareable versions of content that are easy to consume and can tempt people into a larger meal. Stick to the strengths of each social media channel, and you and your developer audience won’t be disappointed with just a taste.

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