How a Developer Marketing Platform Works Alongside Documentation
The aim of educational developer marketing is different from traditional marketing. Forget about selling your product and instead, focus on educating developers and lowering the friction between them and your product.
Developers don’t respond well to traditional marketing techniques such as sales demos and cold calls. So instead of marketing to them, you need to engage developers with an educational developer marketing initiative that helps them learn about your product.
Current developer education initiatives often lean on copious amounts of documentation with ongoing “nurture” campaigns that follow traditional marketing techniques. This includes providing static fact sheets that talk about the product’s benefits, email workflows telling developers about the product, or videos that walk developers through the product’s high-level benefits.
But developers want to figure out your product and use it in real-life situations that they’ll encounter on a day-to-day basis. They want educational and technical product information that they can find in documentation, as well as interactive, hands-on product experiences that they can find in a developer marketing platform.
Below, we’ll discuss how using a developer marketing platform to complement your interactive document can help drive engagement and boost product adoption.
Why is a Developer Marketing Platform Key for Educating Developers?
Education is a great tool when it comes to improving product awareness with developers. By turning your existing developer documentation into immersive, educational experiences, you can improve developer growth, developer adoption, product usage, API calls, and built applications.
If you’re using a traditional learning management system (LMS), it can be a cumbersome process to create the hands-on, educational experience that developers need to adopt your product.
A developer marketing platform enables you to create immersive product experiences and easily build frictionless developer experiences. It uses a learn-by-doing approach that includes hands-on sandboxes with self-paced courses. This combination gives developers the educational experience they need to decide whether to adopt your product or not.
The Synergy Between a Developer Marketing Platform and Developer Documentation
Developers enjoy learning about technology, and they want to know about your product’s features, rather than just a list of benefits. Interactive educational materials can accelerate their purchasing decision, but to make the most of your content, you should combine these materials with a more interactive, hands-on approach, including self-paced courses and product sandboxes.
With a developer marketing platform, you can create hands-on, self-paced courses that help developers to learn about and adopt your product, with the ability to add videos, quizzes, and discussion threads. A developer marketing platform can include virtual labs, which provide an immersive experience where developers can get hands-on software sandboxes that enable them to try your product and shape their buying recommendations. It gives you the ability to offer a unique experience that will drive developer product awareness and product adoption.
By hosting your courses on a developer marketing platform, you can reinforce and emphasize the more important, most visited, or most asked-about sections of the developer documentation.
You can gain useful insight into which areas of your product developers find most challenging, and which courses are enhancing their understanding and adoption of your product. By bringing together documentation and a developer marketing platform, you can provide additional learning content for the most difficult/popular topics on a product, which reduces the angle of the learning curve. It also provides a better developer experience and improves developer comfort with your tool, enabling them to get more use out of it.
Developer Marketing Platforms and Documentation in Action
So, what does using a developer marketing platform to reinforce your documentation look like in practice? Here are some examples of existing synergies that are driving results.
Kong, a cloud connectivity company for API and micro-service management, uses self-paced, hands-on courses to complement its developer documentation. When learners are reading through the documentation, there are links to learning labs that provide them with real-life scenarios that teach them to use the functionality.
If users are struggling to understand a part of the product — in the case below, Kong’s API Gateway — they can quickly switch to a course to enhance their knowledge as they go along. This helps lower the barrier to adoption by removing unnecessary hurdles to product understanding. Users can fully understand how features work and return to these courses when necessary to reinforce their knowledge.
Chef, a software company that builds DevOps automation tools, uses self-paced courses to complement its developer documentation. These courses help them understand which features developers are learning most about, which features they’re completely ignoring, and which skill sets they are interested in building. This is useful information to improve your company’s understanding of how developers benefit from using your product.
Appsembler for Developer Marketing
Appsembler for Developer Marketing can help turn education into a developer enablement tool, resulting in increased product awareness and usage amongst developers. Appsembler Virtual Labs can make sure these educational experiences become hands-on, which reinforces knowledge and speeds time to adoption.
When you combine virtual IT labs with self-paced courses and developer documentation, you can create learning paths that are tailored to different types of developers and their roles, the different problems they can solve with your product, or the different skill sets they are trying to learn. In essence, you have access to all the tools you need to build your developer education program.