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Developer Content Strategies That Work (and Scale)

We know that technical content is essential for attracting and engaging developers, but it can be challenging to create a strategy that works.

This autumn, I ran a panel discussion at the Developer Marketing Summit 2023 in San Francisco, where I had the chance to chat with Victor Coisne, VP of Marketing, Strapi, and Ansley Dunn, Product Marketing Manager of the Edge AI Developer Platform at Intel.

We covered a variety of topics from balancing educational content with marketing to exploring the nuances of developer content strategy.

Panel discussion- Developer content strategies that work (and scale) - Developer Marketing Summit - San Francisco 2023

I’m excited to share these key takeaways from the conference to help you develop a content strategy that works for your business and that you can scale.

In Which Marketing Funnel Does Developer Content Fit?

A marketing funnel is a model that visualizes the customer journey, from awareness to consideration to conversion. It’s important to understand the different stages of the funnel so that you can create content that is tailored to each stage.

  • Top-of-funnel (TOFU): This is where potential customers are first becoming aware of your brand and product. TOFU content should be educational and informative, and it should focus on attracting new visitors to your website.
  • Middle-of-funnel (MOFU): At this stage, potential customers have already visited your website and are learning more about your product. MOFU content should be more in-depth and persuasive, and it should focus on moving potential customers closer to a purchase decision.
  • Bottom-of-funnel (BOFU): This is where potential customers are ready to make a purchase decision. BOFU content should be highly targeted and promotional, and it should focus on convincing potential customers to buy your product.

Looking past the definition, marketing funnels vary a lot depending on the product and the ICP (Ideal Customer Profile). There is no one-size-fits-all approach to content marketing for developers and this is clearly seen when comparing our panelists’ strategies at Strapi and Edge AI Developer Platform (Intel).


Strapi uses developer content mainly to create brand awareness and drive traffic to its website. Content is mainly top-funnel for them. In addition, they do bottom-funnel content that aims to convert specific segments that are already engaged, but at a much smaller scale. In terms of the content types they use in their top funnel, both keyword-based content (targeting specific keywords), as well as persona-based content (targeting specific customer profiles) are being used. A good example of keyword-based content would be landing pages and integration pages. An example of their persona-based content targeted to front-end developers would be technical tutorials.

In larger companies like Intel, where the organization is primarily hardware-driven, it can be more difficult to agree on which content is top-of-funnel, middle-of-funnel, or bottom-of-funnel. This is because the first touchpoint for a new product might be bottom-of-funnel content, even though bottom-of-funnel content is typically targeted at leads who are ready to convert. Therefore, flexibility and adaptability in your content strategy can become much more important in larger enterprises.

So, the first step of creating a content marketing strategy is to understand your specific product and ICP, and only then start tailoring your content.

Measuring Content Value And Success

Now that we have explored marketing funnels and what types of content can be placed in each funnel, you might be wondering how to measure the value and success of your efforts.

Here are a few common ways to measure content performance:

  • Keyword-based measurement: How well is your content ranking in search results for relevant keywords?
  • Persona-based measurement: Is your content helping to move leads further along in the buying process? This is where attribution comes in and where touchpoints become a relevant measurement tool.
  • Virality: Is your content being picked up by influencers, or is it being shared by users?
  • Engagement: How many impressions, clicks, views, and time spent on the page is your content getting?

The best metrics to track will vary depending on your specific goals. For example, if your goal is to increase brand awareness, you’ll want to track metrics such as virality and engagement. If your goal is to generate leads, you’ll want to track metrics such as persona-based measurement and conversion rates.

Prioritizing Content And Where To Start

At Draft.dev, we often work with clients who are tasked with building a content strategy for their company from the ground up or continuing from where someone else left off. One of the most common questions we get is where to start and how to prioritize technical content efforts.

The first step is to understand your customers’ needs. What are the most common questions they ask? What are their pain points? Getting a good grasp of your customers’ needs will help you start creating content that addresses those needs. 

Secondly, you can focus on use cases. What are the different ways that customers are using your product? What are their specific needs? For example, if you’re seeing a lot of traffic to your website from people searching for a particular keyword, you could write a blog post or landing page that is optimized for that keyword and that provides clear and concise instructions on how to use your product to achieve a specific goal.

Thirdly, consider the balance of hype vs. reality. While it’s important to participate in the trendy and cool conversations that are current, actual use cases or troubleshooting a real customer problem will always trump the hyped content. 

Lastly, think about your customer’s intent when analyzing keywords’ search volume. When people search for certain keywords, what are they trying to achieve? Are they looking for information? Are they trying to solve a problem? Are they ready to buy? It’s important to prioritize keywords that are closest to the intent of buying.

Where Does SEO Fit In?

Somewhat connected with prioritization is SEO. Some people argue that you should start with SEO and then figure out how your product fits into those keywords. Others do the complete opposite, and there is no right or wrong answer.

The two main approaches to SEO are: data-driven and intuition-driven.

Data-driven SEO involves using keyword research tools to identify the keywords that your target audience is searching for and then optimizing your content for those keywords. Intuition-driven SEO involves focusing on the topics that you think are important to your target audience and writing content about those topics, regardless of the search volume.

It’s important to find a balance between data and intuition when approaching SEO. You want to target keywords that have a high search volume, but you also want to target keywords that are relevant to your business and that your target audience is actually searching for.

For example, “What is machine learning?” could be an extremely important keyword for EdgeAI Developer Platform (Intel) according to the data-driven measurement, but will it actually convert to sales? Probably not. 

One way to find a balance between data-driven and intuition-driven keywords is to focus on keywords that are “one level up” from your product. For example, if you sell a back-end development framework that sits on top of Kubernetes, you could write a guide to optimizing Kubernetes performance, and mention that using a performant framework (like yours) is one way to help improve this issue. This type of content can be helpful for developers who are still in the early stages of the buying process.

Another way is talking to your customers. Knowing the problems they are trying to solve can help you to identify keywords that are relevant to your business and that your target audience is actually searching for.

CTAs are Touchy Subject

Using calls to action (CTAs) in developer content can be a tricky balancing act. You want the content to be educational and genuinely helpful, but you also have to serve some kind of marketing purpose.

As Victor Coisne mentioned, developers are ‘allergic to some of the marketing tactics.’ This is because developers are typically more interested in self-directed learning and solving problems than in being sold to. That’s why it’s important to be subtle and avoid overt sales pitches when using CTAs in developer content.

Here are some key recommendations that we learned from the panel discussion:

  • Focus on providing value and helping users to solve problems. Developers are more likely to engage with content that is relevant to their interests and needs.
  • Choose CTAs that are appropriate for the format of the content and the target audience. For example, a blog post might have a CTA to subscribe to a newsletter, while a white paper might have a CTA to download a free trial or register for a webinar.
  • Remove any barriers to try the product. 
  • Show your product in action. This could involve creating a demo video, writing a tutorial, or sharing a case study.
  • Offer free samples, code, or resources. This is a great way to give developers a taste of your product and encourage them to learn more.
  • Invite users to reply to an email or join an event. This is a great way to start a conversation with developers and learn more about their needs.
  • Book a call with sales CTAs are generally not effective for developer content. Developers are typically more interested in self-directed learning, so they’re less likely to be interested in talking to a salesperson. However, these CTAs may be more effective for SaaS products or for companies with a more enterprise-focused ICP.


Once you have put an excessive amount of work into creating high-quality technical content, it is equally important to distribute it effectively. There’s an abundance of developer content being produced these days, and even if you have great content, it doesn’t just get out there on its own merits.

To get your content in front of the right people, you need to focus on being where the developers are. This means publishing your content on platforms where developers are active, such as Medium, Stack Overflow, and GitHub.

Another way to reach a wider audience is to consider syndicating your content to other websites and platforms. This can help you get your content in front of people who might not have found it otherwise.

In addition to publishing and syndicating your content, you should also engage with developers in communities where they are active. This could involve participating in online forums, answering questions, and providing value to the community.

Finally, you can reach out to newsletter editors and pitch your stories. This is a great way to get your content in front of a targeted audience of developers who are interested in the topics you write about.

When distributing your content, it’s important to be helpful and non-spammy. Don’t just dump your links everywhere you can. Instead, focus on providing value to developers and sharing your content in a way that is relevant to their needs.

Beyond The Written Word

When we refer to technical content, we often think of written content, such as blog posts, articles, and white papers. However, there are many other types of technical content that can be just as effective, if not more effective.

Here are some examples of technical content that go beyond the written word:

  • Webinars: Webinars are a great way to share your knowledge and expertise with a large audience of developers. You can use webinars to teach developers about new technologies, best practices, or your product.
  • Demos: Demos are a great way to show developers how your product works and how it can benefit them. You can create demos for your website, social media, or even for webinars.
  • Video tutorials: Video tutorials are a much more immersive way to learn new skills or technologies than written tutorials. We recently launched video tutorials at Draft.dev which have been receiving a lot of interest.
  • Short-form videos: Short-form videos can be both effective and not. It all comes down to where your target audience spends most time.
  • Influencer outreach: Reaching out to developer influencers and offering them to use your product in the different types of content that they create can also be very effective. Partnering with someone who already has a large following of developers can help you reach a wider audience and build credibility. Interestingly, the results may vary depending on the country, as Ansley Dunn mentioned, “We’ve had lots of success with influencer marketing in India, but it hasn’t picked up in the US”.

Is Refreshing Content Worth It?

Refreshing content can easily become one of the most challenging tasks in a company because it is both time-consuming and important. Technology is constantly changing, and if your content is not up to date, it will be less useful and informative for developers. This can lead to fewer conversions and leads.

That being said, there are a couple of ways to make the process less overwhelming:

  • Prioritize the most popular content. Start by updating the content that gets the most views and engagement. This will ensure that you are getting the most out of your efforts.
  • Use AI to help with content refreshing. AI-powered content refreshing tools can scan your content, identify outdated information, suggest relevant updates, and pinpoint areas where user engagement has dropped.


Creating a technical content strategy is a complex and ongoing process. There is no one-size-fits-all approach, and the best strategy will vary depending on your specific business and goals. 

It is important to remember that there is no perfect strategy. The best strategy is a result of long-term testing and iteration. Don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. And most importantly, focus on creating content that is valuable and informative for your target audience.

As your business grows and changes, your technical content strategy will need to evolve as well. Be sure to regularly review your strategy and make adjustments as needed.

If you have any questions about scaling technical content or you’d like to learn more about how we work with startups, please schedule a call with us today.

Karl Hughes

By Karl Hughes

Karl is a former startup CTO and the founder of Draft.dev. He writes about technical blogging and content management.