After 6 years spent in marketing—from targeting non-tech audiences to eventually focusing solely on tech-savvy denizens—one thing's become abundantly clear: There's a whole universe separating us mortals from the elusive developer species.

Back in my rookie days, content marketing was all about keywords, intents, FAQs, links, and epic-length content—anything to boost SEO.

Sounds familiar? Yeah, many content marketers start this way.

However, once you gain some seasoning in this line of work, you start seeing things differently. 

Why, you ask? Well, developers behave unlike anyone else in cyberspace!

Why do developers stand out as a distinctive audience for content marketing?

Developers are a unique audience because their concept of value significantly differs from non-technical individuals. Let’s understand what value is first.

Value: Imagine handing a thirsty man food instead of water–utterly useless, right? Instant gratification of fundamental physiological requirements, like quenching thirst, takes precedence above all else. Because that’s value for him.

Values are inherently distinct and contextually defined, shaping perceptions and actions in the moment. It can’t stay the same forever.

Value mirrors Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, highlighting that individuals prioritize different needs and values, from basic physiological requirements to higher-order aspirations like self-actualization.

Valuable Content: Similarly, determining what qualifies as valuable content depends entirely on the recipient's current state, desires, and motivations. It addresses actual needs, generates positive sentiments, and cements enduring connections.

Developers' needs and, thus values differ depending on their experience levels, which can be attributed to their goals.

Dev maturation level

Content priorities



Basics, fundamentals, getting started

Acquiring the necessary skills to enter the profession


Tutorials, how-to guides, practice lessons

Applying learned skills in controlled environments


Project walkthroughs, frameworks, best practices

Connecting theoretical knowledge with practical applications


Deep dives, optimizations, challenging scenarios

Exploring areas outside the comfort zone, expanding horizons


Cutting-edge technologies, visionary ideas, specialized knowledge

Innovating, and contributing original work to the field

Now that we understand these two concepts, we can see why developers are distinct audiences. 

Developers are primarily concerned with building and implementing solutions and handling edge cases and errors that arise during development. 

They are problem solvers first, and good developers care about end-user experience, product thinking, and potential security vulnerabilities.

Their primary value lies in getting the job done fast without encountering errors. To facilitate this, they care about things such as:

  1. Quick testing and trial
  2. Simple documentation
  3. Ease of integration
  4. Developer experience
  5. Handling edge cases and errors
  6. Low latency to query resolution

These priorities sharply contrast with those of non-tech individuals, who often prioritize finding solutions and analyzing different tools for business value rather than delving into the intricate details of implementation and error management.

Development is not a point-solution where you enter input; the output is your solution. It’s a journey. And hence is the difference.

Still, didn’t notice the difference?

It’s good if you did :)

For the rest of us, let's consider how marketing to non-tech audiences differs. 

General marketing to non-tech audiences typically addresses queries such as why a company should purchase the product, its features, and the business value it provides. 

Even without an in-depth understanding of the product's mechanics, content can be tailored to highlight its end business value, which often remains consistent—saving time, reducing churn, cutting costs, increasing ROI, and more. These are the end values that non-tech teams prioritize.

  • A marketing team focuses on meeting KPIs and boosting revenue pipelines, ultimately driving revenue growth. 
  • Similarly, a sales team aims for KPIs like booking demos and POCs, directly impacting revenue. 
  • The product team is concerned with reducing churn, while the finance team aims to decrease expenditure. 

These non-tech teams align with a broad business end-value that doesn't necessarily require a deep understanding of the product's inner workings to market effectively. Of course, if you do understand the product intricately, you're in an even better position.

However, here's the crux: a tech-savvy individual won't find value in these general metrics. 

For them, value is highly transactional, focusing on aspects like ease of build & integration, debugging code, documentation for building, and API references—essentially, everything needed actually to construct the solution and become a better problem-solver.

It requires an in-depth understanding of the core product, its workings, and its logic from end to end to effectively address a developer's queries.

Can someone not involved with the product’s development team and process understand the needs of devs to satisfy them through marketing?

You now know the answer.

Two key factors make it difficult for content marketers to market to developers:

  1. Background disparity: Content marketers usually don't have technical backgrounds, so understanding engineering & development can be a steep learning curve for them.
  2. Compensation inequality: Junior developers commonly earn comparable salaries to veteran content marketers. Those skilled in development seldom choose content marketing careers.

Due to a lack of clearly defined value for developers and many content marketers' inability to understand tech professionals' needs, they often resort to non-tech marketing practices. Regrettably, these practices risk coming off as heavy-handed ads to developers.

Ultimately, if someone continuously sells you something you do not need, you will eventually start hating those people and their products. 

So, what type of content marketing works for developers?

Now that you know the value for developers, this would be very simple to understand. Anything that helps them build and test hypotheses faster, handle edge cases, mitigate errors, and go live in production will be highly valued by developers.

Here’s a handy table to understand what would and won’t work for developer marketing.

What developers like

What developers don't like

Preference for open source and self-building

Opaque language and lack of transparency

Value of hands-on experience

Intrusive or pushy tactics

Importance of community and word of mouth

Lack of authenticity

Transparency and clarity

Complex onboarding processes

Focus on technical expertise

Focus on abstract concepts over practical value

Preference for practical value and utility

Heavy reliance on buzzwords or hype

Preference for free or low-cost solutions

Ignoring or dismissing community recommendations

Desire for genuine engagement

Lack of free tiers or opportunities for hands-on experience

Focus on education and empowerment

Overemphasis on sales-driven messaging

Let's analyze the optimal content for developers based on a single instance of how they move in their development journey.

Based on the above dev-journey, let’s see what content would provide value to them in different stages. We would check out the content for the following stages:

  • Pre-evaluation
  • During evaluation
  • During implementation
  • Post implementation

It's important to acknowledge that the actual developer journey involves numerous factors, but here, we're focusing on a condensed version for clarity.


In the initial phase of developer engagement, commonly known as pre-evaluation, the goal is to capture developers' attention and stimulate interest in your product or solution. This stage, akin to the Top of Funnel (ToFu) phase in conventional content marketing, lays the groundwork for developers to explore your offering.

When I started at my current organization, my core focus was always to reach our audience first and be among those minds. Some content ideas that got us results were:

Community/ influencer mentions

Developers usually look for solutions by asking friends or people they trust. If someone recommends a tool that could fix an issue or says they had a good experience using it, developers are likely to check it out.

Things to remember

  • Try to have organic conversations or post helpful comments from trusted engineering members in communities.
  • If that's not feasible, collaborate with engineer-leaders for sponsored posts. Just make sure the leader's followers match your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) so you don't waste money.

An example:

Hackernews mentions

From my perspective, Hackernews ranks among the most trustworthy platforms for developers, largely eschewing hacky practices. Its membership spans the entire spectrum of engineering professionals, with a strong concentration of senior developers and CTOs—important decision-makers.

  • Focus on developing worthwhile engineering content or consider utilizing ‘Shown HN’ or ‘Ask HN’ configurations to share your unique solution with this value-conscious crowd. Regularly appearing on the front page should be a crucial KPI in your developer marketing objectives.
  • I advise exercising caution when applying eye-catching marketing techniques on Hackernews. The site's visitors possess refined palates and react harshly to low-value or forceful advertising.

As a dev and marketer, I visit Hackernews regularly thanks to its fascinating subjects and abundance of expert views on exceptional matters.  

Secretly, I desire to safeguard this hidden jewel from invasive marketing campaigns and general content marketers damaging its essence. Granted that luck lands you an invitation, treat Hackernews as a treasured possession, showering it with appreciation and esteem.

Not everyone knows about the Explore and Trending parts of GitHub's homepage, but they can be really beneficial for developers. GitHub is a big part of the developer ecosystem, touching most developers at a very high frequency. 

How to benefit from GitHub

  • Having lots of Stars can get your repository noticed in the Trending list, bringing in more high-quality developers and Stars. Even though no direct information is available on what causes a repo to trend, Stars seem to be an important factor.
  • Use other parts of your content marketing strategy to collect many Stars quickly for your repo, possibly encouraging GitHub's algorithm to consider putting your repo on the Trending feed. Being featured there gives you great visibility among other developers.

SERP/ AI searches

While searches are a common marketing tactic, dev marketing follows similar principles. When developers face challenges, they look for solutions on Google, Bing, and AI-powered platforms. Therefore, ensuring your visibility and ranking within these search sections is essential.

When specific keyword-related questions emerged, I dedicated significant effort to getting SuprSend highlighted in AI (GPTs) systems. The outcome turned out to be positive and in line with expectations.

For instance, I successfully positioned SuprSend at the top of's search results for certain desired questions and keywords.

Here are the screenshots as proof:

Here is another one:

Due to this initiative, we attracted approximately half a dozen high-potential leads-to-POCs prospects. Investing in AI-driven searches served a dual purpose: protecting our space in the noisy market and capitalizing on forthcoming shifts in user behaviors. Normally, marketers center their efforts on SEO and climbing Google SERPs. 

However, considering the accelerated development of AI technology, I believe that future discovery-oriented searches will gravitate toward AI platforms. By staying prepared and alert, I want to ensure that our competitive advantage remains intact and repeatedly reinforced.

Open-source/ free tools publicity

Some companies open-source one of their product components to act as a lead generator. Besides that, there are free tools that help with this visibility phase. Personally, I love open-source projects because they greatly contribute to the developer ecosystem and train new generations of developers.

Things to note:

  • Even though marketing open-source to developers might be simple, double-check financial and revenue considerations before going down this path. Managing open-source projects to meet high standards can consume a lot of your time and resources. Choose wisely where you want to concentrate.
  • Free tools are easy – create once, forget about them, and draw in leads for a longer period. However, building a developer community around tools like these can be tough because they become point solutions rather than full projects in which developers want to invest time in.

There are more content types, but let's proceed to the next section, as covering everything here could be overwhelming.

During evaluation

In normal marketing, this is the counterpart to the mid-funnel phase. Let’s see what kind of content you would get results for in developer marketing. 


Having clear, ungated documentation marks the start of the actual product evaluation by a developer. They are now interested in learning how to implement this tool in their project. Almost all good dev tools have a keen focus on documentation and improving the experience in that phase.

Documentation is one of our most engaged pages on the whole website. As you can see from the screenshot, the engagement rate for our documentation is around 26% higher than our main website content, showcasing the importance of the content in documentation and developers' much higher intent to go through the entire content.

Ensure that good technical documentation is in place, with code snippets, examples, steps, and clear, direct language. No salesy pitch about why our product is the best or how it saves costs. Developers are there to implement the solution and see for themselves, not read marketing materials.

Demo/ sandbox environment

One of my key learnings from working in this domain is that developers don't trust marketing materials unless they've seen the product for themselves.

I further researched this by looking at some top dev tool companies like Sentry, Vercel, and OAuth, and whether they offer a sandbox or playground environment.

Not surprisingly, almost all good dev tools provide some kind of sandbox or playground environment to test the solution in real-time, often making a dev's life easier when evaluating and testing the platform in minutes.

At SuprSend, we've invested engineering bandwidth to test an MVP inapp notifications playground for one of our core product offerings. Needless to say, it's worked quite well when the developer who has passed the top-funnel phase and is in the consideration phase can quickly test their hypothesis. We use that in demos, too, to showcase things in action.

A supplementary part of this is the free trial. Open up a generous free trial plan for developers to test the product in an actual use case and see the value for themselves.

Benchmarking reports

Benchmarking or product reports act as good content for senior devs or CTOs who are in a leadership position to determine the intricacies of the solution. Many large companies have an engineering resource hub where they share their engineering reports, one of which is benchmarks.

The LLaMA report from Meta and the LLaMA 2 vs. ChatGPT comparison are good examples.

Besides these, vendor comparison pages also play a good role during the evaluation phase. What I’ve seen in my case is that a lot of our leads, before beginning the POC ask for some sort of direct vendor comparison, for which we have created a lot of resources.

You can check one of our examples to understand how it works. These are usually low-hanging fruits that a dev marketer can quickly capitalize on. 

Recipes for quick solution integration

Before delving into recipe usage in the developer realm, allow me to clarify their meaning in this context. In software development, recipes refer to collections of instructions or procedures that expedite solution integration and reduce manual setup.

Often automated, these recipes assist developers in configuring and deploying services, tools, or libraries seamlessly, saving time and minimizing frustration.

Typically, recipes consist of scripts written in languages like YAML or JSON, containing commands or directions that automate repetitive tasks, manage dependencies, install packages, or perform other chores essential for smoothly integrating a solution.

Popular frameworks and platforms like Ansible, Chef, or SaltStack incorporate recipes to facilitate infrastructure configuration, deployment, and application lifecycle management. Furthermore, containerization tools like Docker Compose and package managers, such as Homebrew for macOS, also utilize recipes to coordinate installation sequences and dependencies.

At SuprSend, we prioritize creating recipes to enhance time-to-live for developers. Whatever can make their evaluation/ implementation quicker, we do that. Here's an example of one of our recipes: Recipes

Tutorials/ how-to

This is a simpler one and is often done in normal content marketing too. Make sure to be more technical and solve the problem precisely without getting into the business value propositions. This one’s easy, you can do it yourselves. 

Next, I'll move on to the during implementation phase.

During implementation

Documentation usually goes hand-in-hand with implementation, though there are certainly other forms of content that facilitate this process.

Clear API references

Providing explicit API references ensures smooth sailing for developers while implementing your solution. Detailed API documentation, categorized by function calls and return types, equips developers with indispensable resources for flawless integration. Displaying response structures, parameter descriptions, and possible exceptions guarantees developers traverse the implementation terrain confidently.

Moreover, exhibiting code samples in multiple languages and embedding SDK links in API reference docs adds immense value. Including HTTP headers, URL parameters, authentication tokens, and error messages in API documentation conveys a sense of completeness. Updating API references in tandem with releases keeps developers on the pulse of improvements and modifications.

Good developer experience

Creating an inviting ambiance for developers is crucial during the implementation phase. An intuitive UI, comprehensible navigation, and sensible default settings create an enjoyable developer experience. Minimizing cognitive load by breaking down lengthy processes into digestible chunks enhances developer satisfaction.

Providing easily navigable menus, progressive disclosure, and keyboard shortcut hints displays sensitivity to developers' needs and preferences. Limiting the necessity for external tools and extensions creates a cohesive and good devs experience.

Product help docs

Alongside API references, in-depth product help documentation can be invaluable. These docs should cover common use cases, feature walkthroughs, best practices, and troubleshooting tips.

Developers often rely on these resources to understand the solution's full capabilities and how to leverage them effectively. Configuring search bars, tagged labels, and anchor hyperlinks transforms help docs into handy companions for developers wrestling with peculiarities.

Organizing help docs hierarchically, from elementary to advanced, caters to developers at varying stages of expertise. Illustrating examples and comparing diverse approaches casts light on underlying concepts. All of these should be available during onboarding. 

Error guides

Arming developers with adequate error guides prevents hair-pulling moments when confronting unexpected roadblocks. Supplementing API reference documentation with error explanations, probable root causes, and recommended courses of action expedites conflict resolution.

Classifying errors by severity and urgency maintains order in the chaos. Grouping similar errors under a single roof encourages pattern identification and eliminates redundancy. SuprSend has created a separate docs page for error guides which helps in debugging during implementation: Error Guides

Developer support

Clearly displayed contact information, availability hours, and estimated response times convey reliability and accountability. Offering chatbot assistance, ticketing systems, or callback facilities reassures developers that backup awaits them during turbulent times.

Promptly addressing raised tickets, escalating urgent issues, and tracking historical records manifest compassion for developers. Educating internal teams in developer support disciplines builds coherent communication and unwavering commitment to developers' needs. At SuprSend, we often portray this as one of our USPs in my content marketing efforts. 

Using some tools, you can also make these help tickets public, like creating a Confluence hub to enable other devs to check the solution in case they face similar problems. 

Now we move to our last section, the post-implementation phase.

Post implementation

Similar to the bottom-funnel content from traditional content marketing. After the initial implementation, there are several important areas to address through content and resources:

User feedback loops

Good devs care about user experience. Establishing robust feedback mechanisms is crucial. This could include in-app feedback forms, user surveys, or direct communication channels. Capturing user sentiment, feature requests, and pain points allows you to improve the product continuously and serve developer needs better.

Accelerated feedback loops enhance development speed while maintaining high quality. Utilizing tools for code profiling, tracing, and continuous integration and deployment can facilitate this process.

Performance and cost optimization

Guiding performance optimization is valuable. This could include content on best practices for efficient API usage, resource management, caching strategies, and recommendations for scaling the integration as usage grows.

Also, helping developers understand the cost implications of using your solution is important. This may involve documentation on pricing models, cost estimation tools, and strategies for optimizing expenditure (e.g., using usage-based pricing effectively and leveraging volume discounts).

Future product updates

Proactively communicating upcoming product updates, feature roadmaps, and potential impact on existing integrations is key. Developers need to be informed about changes that may require them to update their implementations so that they can plan accordingly.

Change of dependencies

When changes to underlying dependencies, libraries, or platform versions affect your solution, provide clear guidance on how to handle those updates. Detailed migration paths, compatibility notes, and upgrade instructions can help developers navigate such changes smoothly.

Scalability guidelines

Offer comprehensive scalability guidelines that address topics like handling increased traffic, managing resource utilization, and implementing effective architecture patterns. This helps developers plan for growth and spikes and ensure their integrations can scale alongside their needs.

Status pages

Offering a dedicated status page that provides real-time updates on service availability, incidents, and maintenance windows is invaluable. Developers can subscribe to notifications and proactively plan for any disruptions. An example is: SuprSend - Status

Well, that was it! Quite long, eh?

A lot of this content would be valuable for a dev when they are in a particular phase in their dev’s journey. 

There are more content types, which I would discuss more frequently in my LinkedIn posts. Do connect with me on LI if you haven't yet :)

Will be happy to discuss, exchange notes, and support in any way I can.

Join our Slack community to network with other marketers and developers, learn from your peers, stay on top of the latest in developer marketing, and more.

Join the community | Developer Marketing Alliance
The Developer Marketing Alliance Slack community is the perfect place to connect with like-minded marketers across the globe. You’ll be able to learn and grow alongside your peers, ask questions, find job opportunities, see the latest content, and much more.