Wed, 07 Jan 2015
How to think about marketing, when marketing to developers
- Sales is getting rejected one by one. Marketing is "getting rejected at scale."
- Much of the time, "You're trying to write to about 200 people" (at a time).
- "Every single one of those tweets [referencing other people's content] is a missed opportunity to link to your own content."
- "You'll never be able to think like a noob again" -- "your content will basically suffer from the curse of knowledge."
- "Your blog is, like, the cheapest banner ad in the world."
- "It has to be OK to ship something crappy, incrementally improve it, and then never ever ever stop doing it."
- "People _love_ the process of how the sausage is getting made." My remark -- the great thing is you can show them just the parts you want to.
- "Anything you do is news in your community. It doesn't matter that it's not news in the rest of the world."
- "Troll slayers have to be above reproach."
- "The good thing is, when you make people angry, it means they're thinking about you."
- "The value of different channels is you need multiple opportunities to connect with the same people."
- "Write Google Voice in 50 lines of code." The idea here is, say clearly how people can use your tools as technical leverage. People aren't as good as you at connecting the dots of why your thing is so cool.
- "Sometimes it's good to just power the toys, and let the hobbyists decide what's exciting to them."
- "You want to get your community helping each other."
- "In the early days, you want to talk to everyone."
- "The company voice becomes an amalgamation of personal voices," except when something bad happens (unless the CEO is visible and willing to communicate).
- "To write good content, you need to read a lot."
- On topics that you can get other people to write: "You have to convince them they picked [the topic] for themselves, or you have to let them pick them."
- "Read the people your community trusts and respects."
- "Surround people, so they can find you in the channels they like."
- "Go do all the things people would do to try to find you."
Types of content:
- Email newsletter
- Email drip campaign; these two are enough for the first year. Care about open rates.
- Ranked #3: Make a blog. Possible content: (1) anything at all. (2) Contests. (3) Write glorious beautiful documentation as blog posts.
- "How it works" diagram.
- Write about customers. "Didn't you actually change the world?"
Interesting things they found:
- "Trailing open rates of months on the first email" -- that is to say, the first email newsletter was pure gold, so people kept re-opening it.
- Developer Marketing is a thing Microsofties figured out in the '90s; google for it.
- "Get good at comments, because you're gonna have to fix things."
- Good self-introduction posts answer the question, "What are you bringing to the table?" (The audience should care that you're part of $COMPANY.) How can your presence in the company make customers more successful?
- If you want every engineer to be able to present what the product is, then ask everyone to build something using the product plus present it to the company, and now they won't be afraid of presenting things to other people.
- "Have developers write the documentation themselves."
- Write short blog posts.
- "The content that makes the most money is case studies."
- "The best piece of content is something that makes people think of your company more highly than before."
- "The under-appreciated thing where you can be best at it is the content that rocks."
- (No video. Too much work.)
- "Tweet the same thing -- once at 10am, once at 4pm. . . . No one is looking at stuff at the same time."
- "You know better than anyone the businesses that can be built on your platform, so write the recipes for them."
- For emails: "Automatically opt people in, then make sure to build good segemented lists. Keep your lists for your campaigns separate from your newsletter."
- "If the production quality of the email is high, people will assume it's high quality."
- "Make sure you have a clear conversation internally about what you do and don't want to share."
- On Sandstorm, how many people use which pages? Blog vs. app vs. app store list.
Things I need to revisit:
- Repurposing content.
More content ideas:
- Publish internal emails.
- Blog your FAQ. (Also make sure the content appears everywhere else it needs to -- Stack Overflow, etc.)
- Any time we go and give a talk.
- Take photos at Meetups.
Questions for me:
- Perhaps Sandstorm should use Stack Overflow as our main Q&A plan.
- Perhaps I should publish my first all at corp.sandstorm.io mail?
- Does Sandstorm have enough blog posts by non-Kenton people? ("No one sells it like a first ten engineering team.")
- Are we set up for our website to communicate effectively? Does the product communicate effectively?
What to measure, early on:
- Look at web traffic.
- How many times you got mentioned on Twitter.
- Whether or not people comment at all (on external discussion areas like Hacker News).
- Broadly the levels of how many people hang out in your IRC room. "Just monitor the level of people helping each other."
- In the first six months, don't focus on revenue, because the opportunity is all the customers you haven't reached yet.