How to Create a Developer Marketing Strategy

Benjamin Lin
6 min readMar 21, 2022

A few tips on how to get started with your developer marketing strategy.

Whether you are a bootstrapped startup or you’ve just raised a $10 million dollar series A round, you’ll need to come up with a comprehensive developer marketing strategy if you want your developer tools company to be successful.

In this article we will be covering the following aspects of a Developer Marketing Strategy:

  1. Creating Developer Content
  2. Community Building
  3. Presenting at Conferences
  4. Having Great Documentation

Creating Developer Content

“If a developer tool gets created, but no one knows it about it? Does it exist?” — Dev Tool Marketing

This is arguably the most important aspect of your Developer Marketing Strategy. In the beginning stages of your developer tool company, no one will know your developer tool exists organically unless you have content that drives traffic and awareness towards your product.

The good news is that most developer content topics are not as saturated as evergreen topics such as fitness, clothing, or personal finance because of the low search volume on developer topics. For example, an important keyword such as “api analytics” only has a monthly search volume of around 100–1000 searches. Even with such low search volumes, being the #1 ranked result for “api analytics” and having a tool that fulfills customers needs can be enough of a Developer Marketing Strategy to get your ARR past the $1 million dollar mark.

Apigee, an api analytics tool which was acquired by Google for 625 million dollars back in 2016 fueled is growth by ranking #1 for the term. The #2 ranked result, Moesif, just raised its $12 million series A back in 2021. Both Apigee and Moesif are able to fuel their growth with free traffic from their investments in creating developer content.

The type of content your company should produce depends on where your audience lives and how saturated the current marketing channels are. You may find Google to be too competitive for a certain keyword but you may find that Youtube doesn’t have any competition for the same keyword. It isn’t a good idea to try to hit all of the channels at the same time. Instead, find one that works moderately and then scale out the content creation until it stops working before moving on to another channel.

Community Building

Every great developer tools company needs to have a strong community building muscle. Having a solid developer community functions as a way to gather testimonials, offer community support, as well as a place to gather customer feedback.

The easiest way to get started is to have some sort of Slack or Discord channel where customers can reach out to you for questions or feedback. Be sure to be responsive, otherwise customers may never come back to your community channel. Over time, you can capture the most useful questions to a centralized knowledge base like Zendesk so that customers can review them and unblock themselves if they encounter the same issue.

The next step is to create an active forum for your community. You can start with a Reddit channel or use a vendor provided solution like Zendesk or Intercom, which both come with a forum feature. The community forum also helps with bringing in traffic through organic search.

Eventually, you can evolve your community by hosting a monthly user meetup which can be virtual or in person. You can invite guest speakers on related topics to increase attendance and offer rewards to those that attend as incentives.

The final phase of every developer tool’s community building journey is to have an annual conference with a fleshed out agenda that the entire industry wants to attend. A conference helps establish your company as a thought leader in the space. You don’t need to rent out Moscone Center (the largest convention center in SF) at first, it is perfectly fine to start with a smaller auditorium or even hosting it a neighboring tech company if your current office cant handle the capacity.

Presenting at Conferences

If you’ve gone to a developer conference before you must have noticed the booths of developer tools companies eagerly trying to pitch you their software. Conferences are a highly targeted way for developer tools companies to reach out to their target audience.

A great way to start is to be a guest speaker at another companies meet up or conference. If you are going to be presenting a topic, it is a good idea not to make the presentation a giant marketing pitch for your company’s product because the audience will not take it well. Instead, talk about a related topic that the audience will find interesting. If it goes well, they will Google your company’s name and organically discover the products that your company creates.

If your company is on a budget, start by only going to virtual conferences so you can save on travel costs. If you are a founder that isn’t the most charismatic speaker and conferences aren’t your cup of tea, consider eventually hiring a Developer Relations or Developer Evangelist who can solely focus on these efforts.

Having Great Documentation

One of the first things a developer does when evaluating your product is to check out how good your documentation is. Having a badly maintained documentation site is a major turn off to any developer.

If your user interface isn’t 100% intuitive, documentation is the only thing that prevents new users from giving up when they get stuck trying out your product for the first time. Documentation can also help with bringing in traffic from organic search results if optimized for SEO. Lastly, documentation is a great way to for a customer to help convince their engineering leader to adopt the tool more widely.

At the very least, your documentation site should have the following 3 categories:

  • Product Overview — what does this product do? how does it work?
  • Getting Started Guide — bare minimum step-by-step guide on how to get some value out of the product
  • Reference Material — list of available API’s, how to use the sdk, etc.
  • Troubleshooting section — FAQs and troubleshooting guides
  • Use Case Guides — additional recipes on how to accomplish common tasks

Most documentation sites are largely a giant list of reference material and miss out on other important parts of the documentation.

If you want to learn more about how to create great documentation check out our article on How to Write Documentation that Engineers Love.


You don’t need to come up with your entire developer marketing strategy in one day. You can plant the seeds by starting a tech blog, starting up a community Discord/Slack channel, going to a few virtual conferences, and sprucing up your documentation page a bit. Eventually, these small bets will grow and provide tremendous value to your developer tool company.

Want More Tips on Technical Content Marketing?

I’m Ben, a technical content marketer who has worked at Netflix, Uber and Microsoft creating developer content.

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