Before Tech Support

If you are marketing to developers or other experts in tech, it’s likely you are building some kind of community. Sure, you have your existing customers who need documentation, tutorials, etc. However, what attracts new techies to your brand and your product is all the information you provide before they hit Download, and certainly before they hit Purchase.

Enter the tech resource hub.

Why?

Well, some of it is about building developer enthusiasm for your product. But they can’t talk about it if they don’t know how to use it. So there’s the developer/tech buzzfactor. Yet, it’s more than that. It’s creating an environment that gets a technically knowledgeable person up to speed quickly. To support a technical community, provide technical communication that: 

  • Guides new users to the best applications of your product.
  • Outlines where they can find the information they need to get to Hello, World.
  • Links to the deep dives they need to succeed.

How?

It’s more than just having great public documentation, although that is key. It’s also clearly communicating what use cases your offering solves better than any solution, how to implement it, and where to find all the educational tools in your resource hub to make that happen. This requires technically deep content that is written from the perspective of the new user, not the product designer.

Start High, Show Deep

According to Evans Data Corporation’s 2019 Developer Marketing Survey, most IT professionals prefer to see topics at a high level with the option to go deep as needed. This suggests a resource hub that includes the following deeply technical content:

  • Blogs That Announce. Short, to-the-point technical blogs can announce what is important to know about your product, including what problems it solves best, and how. This is a great way to draw a technical audience’s attention to the high-level topics and link them to content that can go more deeply. It puts your audience in the driver’s seat, which is where they like to be.
  • Technology White Papers That Educate. Long-form content that is technology- or concept-focused rather than product-focused. These could even point to general technology tutorials. Why? Tutorials get shared.
  • Thought Leadership Articles That Wake Up Your Audience. Offer awareness pieces drawing attention to an overlooked problem that merits attention, or a well-known problem that is hard to solve. In your resource hub, these technical articles could include how the problem is typically solved and how your product solves it. Or, they could stay more general and point to product pieces that go more deeply into solutions.
  • Public Documentation That Doesn’t Assume. Offer documentation designed for someone who has never encountered your product.
  • How-to’s For the Adopter. For the community member that has taken the plunge, provide technical articles about how to use your product in a specific system. Make sure to highlight best practices, and how to avoid common pitfalls.
  • Product Overviews To Prompt a Decision. For those in the evaluation stage, trying to decide if they want to try even a free version of your offer, include detailed technical product descriptions and comparisons.

For the Road

Help them help you. Offer your technical community the information they need to recognize the need for your product and community, to level up to try it out, and support it once they are in earnest.  This does require a wider variety of perspectives from the technical author side. You may need multiple technical authors who are not necessarily in-house product developers, but are closer to the perspective of the new user. Having a variety of technical authors can also make it easier to provide content for different systems in a timely fashion. Offering your audience the variety and depth of technical content requires a commitment. It’s worth it. You’ll see the value as your technical content inventory builds up to the resource hub needed to inspire a technical community to coalesce around your brand and products.

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