Over the last 10 years, since I moved to Berlin, I’ve been working in different roles, such as Event Manager and Developer Marketing Manager, at different companies in the tech industry. Most of the time, I've been working with the developer audience.

Currently, I'm Head of Developer Marketing at R3, where I work closely with the developer relations, developer experience, and engineering team to grow and support our community.

Today, I'd like to talk to you about internal evangelism.

What is developer evangelism?

I’ll talk about internal evangelism in tech companies, building software, building tech products, and building a developer community. And that's why I'd like to quickly go through what we already define as developer evangelism and developer relations.

The goal of developer relations and evangelism is to support, grow, and engage the developer community through collaboration, content, and engagement.

The developer evangelists are part of the developer relations team and are responsible for nurturing mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and software developers.

In other words, it's a collection of strategies and tactics that help companies to work better together with software engineers.

But what exactly do developer relations teams do and why do they do it? That depends on the needs of the organization. But there are some common tactics that most companies use to attract the developer audience.

We have content, including the creation, placement, and distribution of content like blog posts or videos.

Events are also very crucial, like sponsorships, speaking engagements, attending events, or organizing your own proprietary events like meetups or conferences.

Developer education is also part of this, such as documentation, tutorials, and how-to guides.

Developer experience is another tactic. API design, SDKs, reference apps, or sample code made available on GitHub.

Another key thing is developer advocacy. Interacting directly with developers on social media, on Stack Overflow, in forums, or at events.

And then we have the community. Running champions programs or other ways to incentivize or reward developers. Maybe gamification.

This isn’t an exhaustive list. There’s some overlap, and what one person, team, or department does will differ from company to company. But I think we can all agree that these are very common tactics to attract developers.

What is internal evangelism?

The goal of internal evangelism is to involve, educate, and encourage your co-workers in your organization to become evangelists of the company and advocates for its products.

What does it mean? Let's start by defining your target audience.

Who’s your target audience?

So, who are those co-workers? Are they from marketing? Or from sales?

They can actually be from engineering, marketing, sales, or product. They can even be from the legal team or the people's team, or any other department your company has.

The answer is quite simple; every employee in the company should be equipped with the tools, knowledge, and resources about your product that make it as easy as possible for them to spread the word and become the next ambassador or advocate of your product.

Everyone should understand the business and the product, especially in a tech company that's trying to build a community.

What kind of content can you share with your target audience?

What kind of content should you share with the rest of your company to make them the next ambassadors of your product?

You’ll likely often share content that’s meant for your external audience. Will the DevRel team host a webinar? Does an evangelist have a speaking engagement at a conference? Which new feature will be in the upcoming release?

This seems very obvious, but very often, it's not a natural reaction to inform co-workers what event sponsorships are planned, which blog posts have been published, or what the competition has recently announced.

You might focus on developer education, advocacy, and experience when you address your external audience, but why not provide education, advocacy, and experience to the people working at your own company?

You’ll see bigger initiatives such as sponsorship at a very big trade show or a big announcement, and there’s a press release and lots of buzz around it. Of course, this is shared with the whole company, but there are so many things that fall through the cracks. And some things will only make it to very selected teams and stay inside those.

Being in marketing, you usually have more insights than others into what's going on in the company, so being in developer marketing might be even more insightful due to the closer relationship with product, developer relations, and the engineering team. So, make use of this knowledge and work together with others to spread the word.