Developer marketing examples

The best dev tool marketing campaigns, designs, and copy
that I found on the internet

campaigns
hacker news

Newsjacking by GitGuardian

Newsjacking is a great marketing tactic.
Especially when you can connect it nicely to your product.
โ€

And GitGuardian, a tool for secrets management does it beautifully here.
They ran a story on how Toyota suffered from a data breach.
Because they didn't manage their GitHub secrets properly.
โ€

Brilliant.

developer experience
copy
call to action
landing page
hero section

Auth0 developers portal header

Great above the fold

The subheader explains the value proposition.

Header handles major objections:

  • is it easy to implement?
  • can Iย extend it?

Then we have 3 CTAs but they are super focused on devs:ย 

  • Signup (using action-focused copy)
  • See docs which is exactly what many devs want to do before signing up
  • See examples, again exactly what most devs want to see before signing up

Then it goes on to explain how it works with a simple, static graphic.

This whole thing makes me feel peaceful.

developer experience
product tour
product led growth

Product tour from Vercel

Interactive product tours are all the rage.

But how do you make them work for the dev audience?

How do you deal with:

  • Explain your complex dev tool value proposition quickly
  • Show both code and UI elements
  • Make devs feel great developer experience of your product
  • Push devs to the conversion action without being to pushy
  • And do all that without overwhelming

That is hard.

But Vercel somehow made it.

This is by far the best product tour I have seen so far.

What I love:

  • Great, clean navigation that lets me go back if I want to
  • They use their slogan "Develop, Preview, Ship" to reinforce the product message
  • They show both code and the UI
  • The CTAs are visible but subtle enough not to distract

This product tour is what dev tool startups will aspire to for years (or months ;) ) to come.

Mark my words.

developer experience
blog
call to action

Article header from Teleport

There are a few developer experience gems here:

  • RSS feed: many devs love rss, let them consume your blog that way
  • Search: some devs will immediately know this article is not for them. Let them search and stay.
  • Clear branding: Some devs will read the article and leave. Make sure they at least remember your brand.

Also, their design is super clean, non-invasive, and simple which makes for easy content consumption and more developer love.

social posts
twitter

Meme tweet format from Supabase

Memes that resonate with your ICP (in this case website backend devs who use PostgresSQL).

Content like this helps people find their tribe.

And then those memes can get folks to follow your account.

If you mix your content well you can then push them further down the funnel.

free tools
seo

JSON Web Tokens from Auth0

Marketing through free tools is powerful. And Auth0 implemented it beautifully.

In an old article from Gonto I read about some free tools that Auth0 created years ago.

And those tools are still generating traffic and leads today.

And they are helpful to developers and make the Auht0 brand even more appreciated by the community.

One of those tools is JSON Web Token Debugger.

So how this works for them is this:

  • You understand that your target dev audience has a problem
  • You realize that helpful blog posts can only do so much
  • You create a small tool that helps solve that problem
  • You create content that explain the concept to help build SEO
  • You link out to that content on the home
  • You add links to your core product/events or other offers in the navbar
  • You wait for devs to come ;)

Now, Gonto suggested that is important to do it on a separate domain to make it less promotional.

I am not sold on that especially when I know there are companies like @VEED.IO that build "SEO tool clusters" in the /tools/ subfolder of their page and crush it in search.

But either way, if you can solve a real problem your target devs have, no matter how small, you should be able to get some developer love (and $) from the value you created.

ads
linkedin

Run.ai Linkedin ad

๐—”๐˜๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฐ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ ๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐—ถ๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ ๐—ณ๐—ผ๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐—ป ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ณ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฟ๐˜‚๐—ป๐˜€ ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐—ฎ ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐—บ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—น?

Hard, but Run.ai did that.

Infra products are not "obviously cool".

There is no shiny UI, no happy people wearing your sneakers,

So what do you show on your ads?

First off, the rules still apply:

โ€ข Catch your audience's attention
โ€ข Say what you do in their language
โ€ข Better yet, show how it actually does it

And Run.ai ai and MLOps infra tool managed to create a beautiful Linkedin ad IMHO:

โ€ข They catch attention with the code visual
โ€ข They say what they do quickly with "Dynamic Fractional GPU using One Command"
โ€ข They extend on that in the post copy with an action-driven "Open Terminal -> Run Command -> Boom"
โ€ข The code shows what it feels like to use the tool
โ€ข And it shows you the result -> fractional GPUs

Job well done!

developer experience
call to action
blog

Newsletter subscribe CTA on Interrupt blog

I like that this is both strong and subtle.

It comes right after I've delivered a smell of value with a technical intro.

And I can see that there is more value to come after thanks to the table of contents.

The CTA itself feels like an info box in the docs rather than a typical subscribe CTA.

Good stuff.

social posts
twitter

Product release post format for Twitter from Supabase

Using memes in the product release.

If you understand your ICP (in this case open-source backend devs) it may be a great idea.

An additional benefit is that people may share a meme... that actually has a link to your announcement.

brand
campaigns
ads
billboards

snowflake billboards

Ideating how to do dev tool billboards?

I like these from Snowflake.

Especially the customer showcase ones as the format can almost be copy-pasted ;)

One more interesting thing about those billboards though:

  • folks from Snowflake placed just a few of them strategically in the cities
  • And changed content of the billboard often

By doing that they seem to have billboards everywhere, fight ad fatigue, and stay top of mind.

Love it.

navbar

Supabase product navbar tab design

Really good product navbar tab from Supabase.

The product tab in your navbar is likely the most visited one on your site.

And there are a million ways of organizing information in there.

But ultimately, you want to help people understand what this product is about at a glance.

Even before they click. Even if they never click.

And how do you explain your product to devs?
By answering common questions:

  • "What are the capabilities/features, specifically?"
  • "What do people use it for in producution, specifically?"
  • "Ok, so how is it different than ... I used before/use now?"

Supabase does it really nicely:

  • They show features + give a one-liner explanation
  • They show customer logos + a one-liner on what they got from it
  • They list the most common competitors with links to deeper comparisons

Very solid pattern imho.

What I'd improve:

  • Make the third testimonial copy more dev-centric, more specific -> It reads "... to become top 10 mortgage broker"
  • I'd add a link to a page with all comparisons -> what if I don't see mine?
developer experience
github
navbar

Subtle GitHub CTA in navbar from Aporia

Linked GitHub logo in the navbar

Adding CTA to your GitHub repo makes your company look more dev-friendly.

If you have a ton of stars I'd show those as well to play that social proof card.

But even without it, I think it's a good way to get more traffic to your repo and get those stars :)

social posts
twitter

"Divide people" tweet format

Say what we are all thinking. โ€

This tweet is great as it states something that most of us feel.
It is something that you may have had a discussion about with someone recently.
You might have fought about one tool or another.
But at the end of the day tools don't matter.

You can share it with someone as:

  • sorry, we had a stupid fight
  • rub it in your face :)

โ€

campaigns

Open-source project landing page redesigns (almost) for free

Gonto shared an interesting play that they tried at Auth0 when he was running growth there.

So the story goes like this:

  • They wanted to increase brand awareness of Auth0.
  • They found influencers who were maintainers of open-source frameworks that had landing pages.
  • They went to them and offered to redesign these landing pages for free.
  • The trick is they redesigned it in the same branding (colors, patterns, layout)ย as the product (Auth0).
  • That made people think those are related (even though they weren't)ย which increased the brand perception of Auth0.
  • They also asked the influencers/maintainers if they could add retargeting pixel to the redesigned site.
  • Which helped them serve relevant ads to visitors of those open-source frameworks.

Iย think that doing just the sponsorship for the retargeting pixel could work.

But when you add that branding consistency between the sponsored site and the product the CTR is better.

Interesting one for sure.

ads
developer experience
youtube
video

CircleCI code and UI presentation in video ad

Showing code and UI in an explainer video is always a dance and rarely ends well.

You want to show the code to make it devy.
But you don't want to show everything not to overwhelm.

The same goes for UI which should look like your UI.
But show only what is necessary.

It's a struggle but CircleCI does it really nicely in this explainer:

  • They blur out all code
  • But use colors to make it really look like code
  • And the file sits clearly in a text editor (as it should)

They do the same for the UI later in the video.Just a really clean way of explaining things. Nice!

navbar

Great navbar design from Auth0

Navbar is a hugely important conversion lever on the dev-facing website. I saw it move the needle by x times in some cases/conversion events.

So, what does a good one look like?

Auth0 did a great job on their developer portal. But the learnings can be applied to your marketing website too.

What I like:

  • They have an explicit division between docs and resources (you can do without it but I like it)
  • Community (with all the events, forums, support etc) is clearly emphasized and discoverable
  • When you click on the navbar tab you get an extensive mega menu with many options
  • Each item in the mega menu gets a one-sentence description of what you'll find there

That makes it easy for devs to explore. Without having to click out to see what each tab/item means. And when devs know what you mean they are more likely to actually click out. And convert.

campaigns
developer experience
swag
brand

Promo T-shirt design from GitGuardian

There are a lot of boring vendor t-shirts at conferences.

And they get boring results.

I like this bold design from GitGuardian:

  • they go for anime which is loved by many devs
  • it feels and looks like an anime t-shirt, not a vendor t-shirt
  • they use their core message "Keep secrets out of your source code"

Nice.

swag
conferences

Coconut water giveaway from Datafold

Thinking about your next conference giveaway idea?

โ€How about a coconut? Datafold did just that!

Coconut + logo burned on it + a person who can open them up

=

A memorable, shareable, fresh (literally), and wholesome conference experience.

And I bet it didn't cost an arm and a leg too.

It goes to show how creativity matters when planning those things.

Thinking about doing a similar thing in Poland... with potatoes of course ;)

copy
pricing
developer experience

Retool pricing page copy

Most dev tools have two deployment options:

  • SaaS
  • On-prem / private cloud

And then companies present it on their pricing page with some flavor of two tabs.

And you need to name them somehow.ย 

And how you describe those things sometimes adds confusion for your buyers:

  • You put โ€œyour serverโ€ > then does it scale to a more robust infra?
  • You put โ€œon-prem" > then can I deploy on private AWS cloud?

I like how nice and simple solution Retool used on their pricing page:

  • "Cloud (we host)"
  • "Self-hosted (you host)"

Explicit, obvious and to the point.

Love it.

developer experience
docs

Devex in ReactJS documentation

Nice way to show code and results straight from the React docs that people love.

And this pattern can be used outside of the docs for sure.

Anyway, a classic situation:

  • you want to show the code
  • you want to show the result of that code
  • you want to let people play with the code/results
  • you want to make it easy to read and copy/use ย 

And folks behind React docs solved it nicely by:

  • Giving you a spit screen of code and results
  • Not showing the entire code but giving you the option to "show more"
  • You can change the code and see the results change (and errors pop up)
  • You can use buttons to reset the example, copy it, or fork on CodeSandbox

Not groundbreaking maybe but a beautiful implementation that is just a delight to use.

developer experience
copy
pricing

Start Free Pricing plan from CircleCi

Why not highlight your free plan?

Most companies highlight their middle paid plan saying it is "most popular".

First thing, yeah, sure it is your most popular plan.

But more importantly, most visitors will not convert to your paid plans right away.

So why not try and capture as many devs as possible on the free plan?

If they like your dev tool there are many things you can do to convert some of them to paid plans.

But if they leave that pricing page and go with some other free tool, you are not converting anyone.

@CircleCI highlights free and they are in the mature, competitive market of CI CD tools.

Idk, it really does make a lot of sense to me.

If people need more advanced features they will choose higher plans anyway.

But if they want to get things started with the basic plans they will choose free or go elsewhere.

I'd rather have them choose free than none. ย 

ads
social posts
linkedin
social proof

G2 quote Linkedin Ad format from Algolia

A great example of a quote-style ad.

I like it because:

  • Trust:ย it builds trust via G2 crowd reference and an actual person mentioned
  • Value/benefit:ย the quote talks about what the tool does and what is good about it
  • More trust:ย links to G2 crowd profile, NOT your page -> more trust especially when I don't know the brand yet

Great stuff.

docs
hero section

Stripe docs starts with one product

What to say when you have many products?ย 

Dev tool companies over time grow from one product to suite of products to platforms with products built on top of the core one.

The result is that it is harder to communicate without going full-on fluff mode (my fav "built better software faster").

But for most companies, there is this core capability/product where people start. ย The entry product. Why not use that?

I really liked what Stripe did on their docs page here:

  • They have maaaany products: billing, tax, radar, identity etc. ย 
  • But all of them are built on top of their core payments product
  • So they focus on getting folks to start with the payments
  • And make it clear that there are many other products

Even though this is docs, the same applies to homepages and other dev comms.

If you have many products, figure out what is the most important one, the one where most people enter. Focus on that. "Upsell" to other products later.

ads
brand
billboards

vercel billboard ad

Just an awesome billboard/ad format for a dev too company coming from Vercel.

What I like about it is:

  • you catch attention with something different
  • those who are in your audience get it, maybe they feel more seen
  • you reinforce that your brand is very developer-focused
  • you don't forget to put the "obvious" branding in there
  • and there is a CTA to get people to do something

Simple and beautiful.

Btw, they actually run similar ads on Reddit and it makes a lot of sense IMHO.

brand
campaigns
ads
billboards

"What good is bad data" from Segment

This is a really clever billboard campaign.

Show don't tell they say.

And Segment did exactly that by putting billboards with the wrong location printed on them (LA in SF etc).

The theme/message was "What good is bad data?" which was exactly what they wanted to convey.

What I like about is the alignment between:

  • campaign creative
  • campaign theme
  • product value

This is hard to do imho so big kudos to them ๐ŸŽ‰!

Downside?

Reportedly many folks who saw billboards didn't get that it was intentional and Tweeted at them about the error.

Or maybe they were next-level jokers...

billboards
ads
copy

Funny competitive campaign billboard

Funny and memorable competitive billboard ad from @Statsig ๐Ÿ‘‡

You have a big incumbent, everyone knows them. Use it to anchor your brand.

And tell the story of how you do things differently.

๐Ÿ‘€ But first, make people see you. And remember you in the next conversation when the big known brand or a category comes up.

And being funny is one of the best ways of getting attention and being remembered.

๐Ÿ’š I love how folks from Statsig did it here. Such a playful pun on the feature flag category incumbent Launch Darkly. Job well done.

Btw, this was shared by Oleksii Klochai in the Developer Marketing Community (you joined yet?).

developer experience
social proof
landing page

Social proof from TailwindCSS homepage

Understand who is reading. Add social proof that speaks to them.

Social proof is about showing people/companies who are similar to the reader that they got success with the tool.

Company logos can be good if your reader knows and likes those companies.
But if those are random companies, I am not sure how much value does it bring.

Devs care what other devs who use your product have to say about it.
That's why I like testimonials.

Not the crafted, clean ones with features and values.
But the real stuff. Real devs sharing real stories.

Bonus points for "Okay, I get the point" button copy.
It changes from "Show more" when you click.

Nice!

call to action
landing page
developer experience
hero section

Header with benchmarks from Bun

If your dev tool's USP is that it is faster -> Show it in the header

I like how folks from Bun focus on the fact that they are a faster library.

They show the benchmark as the key visual on the homepage header.

I love it.

If you think about it how else do you really want to show that you are faster?

This is believable, especially with a link to the benchmark so that I can dig deeper.

They show competitors, they don't pretend they don't exist.

And they talk about being faster left right and center.

I mean, they drive this "we are faster" home for me.

If that was important to me, I'd check it out.

developer experience
landing page
hero section

Algolia developer portal design

Devs are builders.โ€

Make your home page for builders.
Go directly into the "how" instead of the way.
Many devs when they land on your home page, already know the "why".

I love that it:

  • shows the step-by-step right away in the hero
  • CTAs are links to integrations with particular frameworks and libraries
  • the hero copy is very toned-down
blog
copy
campaigns
hacker news
seo

Great "What is {my core keyword}" article from Planetscale

How to write a "What is {MY CORE KEYWORD}" article that gets to the top of HackerNews? ๐Ÿ‘‡

First of all, almost no one succeeds at that as you write those articles for SEO distribution, not HN distribution.

To get an SEO-first article on HN your content quality bar needs to be super high.

But you can do it.

PlanetScale managed to get their "What is database sharding and how does it work?" on the orange page (kudos to Justin Gage!).

Here is what was interesting about that article:

๐—ฆ๐˜‚๐—ฝ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ ๐˜๐—ผ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ถ๐—ป๐˜๐—ฟ๐—ผ.

โ€ข โŒ No "In today's fast-paced data-driven world enterprises work with data" stuff.
โ€ข โœ… Justย ย "Learn what database sharding is, how sharding works, and some common sharding frameworks and tools."

๐—›๐—ถ๐˜๐˜๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ธ๐—ฒ๐˜†๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ต๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—ฏ๐˜‚๐—ถ๐—น๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ๐—ฝ๐—ฝ๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐˜ ๐˜„๐—ถ๐˜๐—ต ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐˜ƒ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ.

๐Ÿ’š Speaking peer to peer, not authority-student:

โ€ข "Youโ€™ve probably seen this table before, about how scaling out helps you take this users table, all stored on a single server:"
โ€ข "And turn it into this users table, stored across 2 (or 1,000) servers:"
โ€ข "But thatโ€™s only one type of sharding (row level, or horizontal). "

๐—จ๐˜€๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐—ท๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ด๐—ผ๐—ป ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ ๐˜‚๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ฒ๐—ฟ๐˜€๐˜๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฎ๐˜‚๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฐ๐—ฒ

Things like:

โ€ข "Partitioning has existed โ€“ especially in OLAP setups"
โ€ข "Sifting through HDFS partitions to find the missing snapshot "

๐—”๐—ฐ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐—ฒ๐˜…๐—ฝ๐—น๐—ฎ๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด ๐˜๐—ฒ๐—ฐ๐—ต๐—ป๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ฎ๐—น๐—น๐˜† ๐—ต๐—ผ๐˜„ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ถ๐—ป๐—ด๐˜€ ๐˜„๐—ผ๐—ฟ๐—ธ

๐Ÿ”ฅ Look at the section "How database sharding works under the hood" with subsections:

โ€ข Sharding schemes and algorithms
โ€ข Deciding on what servers to use
โ€ข Routing your sharded queries to the right databases
โ€ข Planning and executing your migration to a sharded solution

๐ŸŽ ๐—•๐—ผ๐—ป๐˜‚๐˜€: ๐—ฝ๐—น๐˜‚๐—ด ๐—ถ๐—ป ๐˜†๐—ผ๐˜‚๐—ฟ ๐—ฝ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐—ฑ๐˜‚๐—ฐ๐˜ ๐—ด๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜๐—น๐˜†

Section "Sharding frameworks and tools" shares open-source tools (every dev, but HN devs in particular like OS projects).

And there as an info box, you have the info that Planetscale comes with one of those OS projects deployed.

Just a beautifully executed piece of content marketing.

reddit
social posts
copy

Great Reddit post format

Nicely done Reddit post that went viral on r/MachineLearning.

Reddit dev communities are notoriously hard to market in.

You need to have something really valuable to say to that dev crowd.

But even if you do, it is so easy to screw it up and get trolled or downvoted for "obvious promo".

I know that from experience. So painful to watch.

This is a really nice example of how to do it right:

  • Start with an interesting, attention-grabbing but not yet a clickbaity title.
  • Say who you are and why you have something (new) and valuable to say here.
  • Go straight to the point, to the (technical) value. I like the obvious numbered list delivery.
  • Drop emojis, bolding, and extensive formatting if you want to "keep it real".
  • Make sentences short. Cut all the fluff. State your opinions and facts "as they are".
  • Do implicit CTA. Drop the explicit one but hint at something that those interested may want.

Try something like that next time you post and see what happens.

Obviously, it is nearly impossible to do when:

  • You have no real experience to share
  • You have nothing really valuable to say
  • You don't have opinions and/or facts on the subject

But then why would you even post something?

copy
developer experience
landing page
hero section

Header design from Mux

Mux does a few things beautifully in this header.

Value proposition:

  • The "what" is explained right away: "Video API", "live and on-demand experiences"
  • Super clear on persona "developers" and job to be done "build online video"

Animated visual that is really good for dev tools:

  • that have an API/SDK
  • that have a UI where the results of that API calls go
ads
social posts
reddit

Reddit ad format from ClearML

Code-style ad format on Reddit.

Code can speak louder than words (sometimes).

It makes your value prop real and concrete to the right audience.ย 

developer experience

Updates modal from Discord

Modal with updates.

Adding a modal with "what happened lately" for users who come back to the app.

Good idea for re-activating users by showing new features or examples.

+ a link to a deeper resource.

developer experience
landing page

Before / After design from AhoyConnect

Very nice design solution on the homepage.

Classic communication of the world before using your tool and the world after.

Really liked how it felt messy before.

And is nice and clean after.

ads
reddit

Stack trace ad from Sentry.io

I really like this Reddit ad from Sentry.

Powerful simplicity.

They don't do:

โ€ข long value-based copy
โ€ข fancy, in-your-face CTAs
โ€ข creative that feels "professional

They go for:

โ€ข focus on the pain
โ€ข creative that speaks to that pain
โ€ข low-key CTA ", get Sentry" rather than "Get Sentry Free!"
โ€ข building rapport with the dev with copy "If seeing this in React makes you ๐Ÿคฎ"

And through simplicity and focus they deliver a message:

โ€ข Stack traces in React are not much fun
โ€ข They seem to understand that
โ€ข Sentry helps you solve that

Good format.

social posts
twitter

"Disagree with status quo" tweet format

Articulate a deeper thought.โ€

Sometimes you want to tell the world something but you don't know how.
When somebody articulates what you were thinking you just want to share that with them.

This is what this tweet is about.
A deeper thought with some parallel examples to back it up.

copy
developer experience
landing page
hero section

Axiom competitor-focused messaging

In a mature category, it is safe to assume that people know about other tools.

Especially devs.

I love how Axiom owns its unique selling point and how it stands out from the competition.

  • They explicitly say how much more scalable they are vs well-known brands like DataDog, Splunk, SumoLogic, and others.
  • They don't pretend to be the only company in the observability space.
  • They just own their unique selling point and make it easy for people to understand why choose them not others.

Takes guts but I love it.

swag
conferences

Swag donations

What if your next swag was a donation? That's what Cockroach Labs did.

Ok, so the typical way of doing swag at a conference is to give out t-shirts for badge scans.

And then folks either wear them or throw them away (or keep wearing them when they should have thrown them away but that is another story).

After the conference you take leftovers with you, ship them home or, you guessed it, throw them away.

A lot of throwing away for a badge scan if you ask me.

Cockroach Labs decided to do something completely different.

They donate a few $ to a great charity @Women Who Code for every badge scan they get.
I love it.

An extra benefit (and where the idea originated) is that with this, you can do virtual badge scans too.

ads
linkedin
social proof

V7 "testimonial" ad on Linkedin

It's a nice template for ads on socials.

So you have:

  • Value
  • Testimonial about the value/benefit
  • Person
  • CTA

Ideally, I'd make it dark to stand out in the feed and make the CTA about that value as well.

But still, great ad imho.

copy

"CI" vs "Build" A/B test from Earthly

Copy that lands makes a huge difference in dev tool website conversion.

Earthly proved it with this "tiny" change.

So I am a huge believer in good copy.

Not the clever one but the one that is written with words that your customers use.

That is rooted in product and research.

But I often hear devs or founders say things like "it's just copy".

It is not "just copy" it is your message, it is your positioning.

It is the difference between ย "cool, let's try it" and "now for me, whatever".

So some time ago I came across this article from the Earthly CEO Vlad Ionescu.

He shared that at some point they decided to run this A/B test with just a "tiny" change.

They changed the word "CI" -> "Build" across the homepage.

  • Control -> "Earhly makes CI super simple"
  • Test -> "Earhly makes builds super simple"

And their core website conversion doubled.

So next time you work on website copy give it some more thought and you may be surprised that "just copy" made a huge difference.

call to action
blog

Aside CTA from ExportSDK

One of the top-performing conversion flows in dev-focused articles.

"Aside CTA" in the "How to do {jobs to be done}" article.

You know the drill:

  • Explain how to X without your tool
  • Add an "Aside" CTA showing that it can be done with your tool

And Export SDK executes it (almost) perfectly:

  • They subtly move you from article to CTA but show that the article ended
  • They explain what the tool does and what the offer is
  • They show a visual of how the tool solves it
  • And they give you a clear link to click

One thing that could be tested and changed is putting this "Aside CTA" mid-article and not at the end (tip from Martin Gontovnikas).

A good thing to try if you are running the "How to do {jbtd}" article strategy.

video

Funny explainer of OpenSaas

Funniest dev tool explainer ever? Coming from Wasp.

Let's face it, introducing a problem in an explainer video is often boring. Especially if the problem is

How do you introduce a SaaS boilerplate? Good luck pitching faster time to value or something.

Wasp did something out of the box:

  • They start by googling "how to buy a Lamborghini"
  • Go to a Rebbit thread where people talk about starting a SaaS on boilerplate. But it is paid.
  • Go to Google again and type their positioning ;) "Free open-source SaaS starter".
  • Go to their product and show it.

Got me hooked and kept me watching for sure.

+ funny is memorable so you will get a better recall too.

copy
ads
linkedin
brand

Joke ad format with a transitional CTA from sdworx

Dorky joke right?

But it does two very important things beautifully.

It gets a smirk (from some people) and when it does you know you just moved someone closer to your brand.

It has a clear CTA which is hard to do with joke-format ads.

This subtle call to conversation/check us out does the job.

Love it!

brand
youtube

What is Segment video

Came across this classic What is Segment brand video while watching an interview with one of the folks behind it, Maya Spivak (she is awesome btw).

What I like about it is that:

โ€ข it is fun, not formal, builds rapport
โ€ข it introduces the core problem the tool solves
โ€ข it shows the tech and explains it in a way that is simple but not simplistic

And it follows a flavor of the classic AIDA format:

  • Introduce problem
  • Agitate it, make the viewer feel it
  • Explain obvious solutions + problems with it
  • Show how your product solves it
  • Tell people how to start

Putting all that in 90 seconds is hard.

And even though this video is 4 years old it could easily still work today IMHO.

Really solid baseline to sฬถtฬถeฬถaฬถlฬถ get inspired by ;)

copy
developer experience
call to action
landing page
hero section

Auth0 developer portal Hero section CTAs

There are three CTAs actually.

Common knowledge suggests doing one, maybe two, they do 3:

  • build
  • see docs
  • see examples

Devs want relevant and practical.

Also, devs love docs and examples and check them before signing up.

Action-focused copy is great as well.

developer experience
call to action
blog

Great article in-text CTA from DigitalOcean

Adding CTA in dev-focused articles is hard.

You don't want to be too pushy, but you do want to get conversions.

DigitalOcean strikes a great balance with its in-text article CTA design.

They make this CTA look like an info box that you'd typically see in the documentation.

It is clear that it is a Digital Ocean CTA but it doesn't feel pushy.

It feels like a piece of potentially useful information.

Love it.

blog
call to action

Blog CTA from Novu

The idea behind this conversion play is to put an "Aside CTA" that is unrelated to the content early in the article.

And get that clicked.

But obviously, if you do that it will be pushy and intrusive.

So?

Nevo David from Novu shared this idea on one of the podcasts:

  • Put a small section right after the introduction
  • Add memes to catch attention and disarm the "I hate ads" reader (a little bit)
  • Make an explicit ask. Make it human and somewhat vulnerable

Btw, Nevo says that cat memes work best.

social posts
linkedin

"Code + UI" post format from Aporia

Nice post format.
I like it for dev tools that have both API and UI components.
You show code and what it produces in one view.
You can add additional things to the vis part of it for more context.

copy
developer experience
social proof
landing page
hero section

Powerful landing page messaging from Flighcontrol

Simple and powerful messaging.

They say what they do. Zero fluff.

They make it easy for devs by explaining how they are different than (obvious) competitors.

They add a little developer-focused social proof.

social posts
ads
reddit

Funny Reddit ad from Aporia

An ad that doesn't feel like an ad.โ€

I like that this is almost a meme.

But it still explains what the company does.

Love it.

developer experience
hero section

Pricing page header from Mux

Many dev tools have complex pricing and packaging.

Say your dev tool/platform has many product offerings.

And you offer usage-based pricing but also enterprise plans but also per-product options, and additional customizations.

But you want to present it in a way that is manageable for the developer reading your pricing page.

Mux solves it this way:

  • they direct people to the proper parts of the page in the header
  • they give self-served prospects a link to the calculator and metering
  • they give enterprise/high volume people a "talk to us" CTA
  • they give people who want just a single tool (not the whole platform) a CTA to a dedicated pricing page
  • they squeeze in a "start free" CTA + info about free credits
  • they give navigation to FAQ, features table, and the calculator

Extended headers on pricing pages are not common as they add friction.

But sometimes adding friction is exactly what you need to do.

Mux managed to make this page (and their offering) easy to navigate by adding a little bit of friction at the beginning.

Maybe you don't browse plans right away but at least you don't waste energy (and attention) on the parts of the page that doesn't matter to you.

Good stuff.

social posts
product launch

Vercel product announcement on Linkedin

I like the simplicity of this announcement.

What: "Vercel Edge Middleware"

Why: "Start delivering dynamic, personalized content without sacrificing end-user performance."

Visual supports this but is super minimal.

developer experience
copy
social proof

Case study format from LaunchDarkly

Looking for a good dev-focused case study format?

People tell you to follow a classic Hero > Problem > Solution > Results.

They tell you to show numbers, talk value, etc.

And it is true. Great format.

But packaging this for devs is hard.

For example, putting numbers in there, and framing it in a "save 28min every week" is a recipe for losing trust with that dev reader.

That is if you can even get those numbers from your customers.

I like how @LaunchDarkly solves it.

Hero section:

  • Change that customer saw (no numbers needed)
  • Additional description of the use case (this seems to be optional for them)
  • Before and After boxes with bullets (no numbers needed)
  • Clear customer logo

Case study body:

  • About: one paragraph about the company and use case
  • Challenge: why they started looking for a solution
  • Solution: why they chose their product
  • Results: what they got from it
  • They kept it short and focused on the team leader imho

They keep the content down to earth and devy but still frame it in a value-focused way.

I like that that they speak in the currency that devs care about.

Wasted time.

Before: "Took 2-3 weeks to ship"

After: "Can ship experiments every day"

The cool thing is you could actually use this ย hero section format and then have a more technical user story below. By doing that you could speak to the why and how.

That depends on your target reader for this page of course.

Anyhow, I do like this format and I am planning to take it for a spin.

social posts
twitter

Question/joke tweet format from Supabase

Create a connection with your ideal customer profile.

"Wrong answers only" questions are great for that imho.

social posts
video
linkedin

Vercel feature video on Linkedin

I like how they use the black dot to show the mouse movements in the UI.

Simple but powerful and clear.

social posts
linkedin
developer experience

Code + UI Linkedin post format

A great example of a dev-focused Linkedin post format from Khuyen Tran ๐Ÿ‘‡

What I like about this:

  • It stands out in the feed with a pink background
  • It is helpful and visual. Shows the code and result of the code in one view.
  • I know right away what the post is about and why I should "... see more"
  • It is a format that can be reused for many scenarios

Just great job!

landing page
developer experience
call to action

Benchmark section on homepage from Astro

Your dev tool is faster/more scalable/more X -> show it with benchmarks.

For some tools the entire unique selling point is that they are faster.

You build your messaging around that, put a flavor of "fastest Y for X" in the header and call it a day.

But devs who come to your website cannot just take your word for it. They need to see it, test it.

For some tools it is possible to just see it for themselves, get started.

But you cannot expect devs to really take a database or an observability platform for a spin.

As to test the speed or scalability on realistic use case you need to...

... set up a realistic use case. Which takes a lot of time.

But you can set that use case and test it for them. With benchmarks.

I really like how Astro approached it:

  • they list out known competition by name
  • they hint at technical reasons for why they are faster
  • they shows those benchmarks high on their homepage
  • they link out to the full report and mention the trusted source

If your usp is that you are faster/more scalable/ more whatever. Back it up. This is the nr 1 thing devs on your website need to trust you with to move forward.

campaigns
social posts
swag
linkedin

Big prize swag campaign from NannyML

Is it better to do one big prize or many small prizes?

This is a decision you have to make when thinking about running a swag campaign.

Turns out that a ย small number of huge prizes can get you way better ROI on the same budget.

And NannyML has done it brilliantly here.

They are a monitoring tool and they give away monitoring setup.

This is something that actually can go viral. And it did.

social posts
linkedin

"Big code" Linkedin post format with an interesting scroll stopper

I like how this starts with a [WHAT IT IS ABOUT] scroll stopper.

That is coupled with a big block of code that has:

  • input -> code
  • output - > results from console

(presumably) when you click "See more" you get the rest of the text post.

call to action
landing page

Posthog funny CTA

Beautiful mockery of classic conversion tactics from PostHog website.

So what do we have here:

  • "3 people would have..."
  • "Not endorsed by Kim K"
  • "Eco-Friendly"
  • "$0 FREE"
  • ">1 left at this price"
  • "Act now and get $0 off your first order"

I have to admit I chuckled ;)

And I bet many devs who don't think of marketing very highly chucked too.

That builds rapport. (hopefully) makes you one of the tribe rather than another faceless corpo.

BTW, they used it as a bottom of the homepage call to action.

I like it.

Most of the people who scrolled there are not going to buy anyway.

But they may share the website with someone who will.

social posts
twitter

Twitter code tweet format

Nice and clean code example.

Clear copy, what it does etc.

Calls to action with links to Github and website.

Really long code example which looks great when clicked on.

call to action
landing page
developer experience

Header with tabs from Appsmith

What to put in the header when your dev tool does a lot?

I like how Appsmith approaches it.

In their case, they have multiple use cases they want to showcase.

But you could use the same idea for many features or products.

Show multiple clickable tabs:

  • It invites the user to click and see.
  • It hints at all of those different use cases
  • It doesn't overwhelm your audience with too much info

A bonus idea is the "Try cloud" | "Self-hosted" CTA.

It communicates right away that you can deploy that dev tool anywhere.

If the self-hosted deployment is important to your customers let them know.

You don't want them to look for it and drop from the page trying to find the FAQ.

campaigns
copy
linkedin

Meme focused on product value from Datree

Memes are good top-of-funnel, awareness-type content.

Many companies use them on socials as they can "go viral".

But.

You need to either:

  • connect the meme to your company/product value
  • make the meme so good that people follow your account

I like how Datree connects it to the product here.

They are a Kubernetes configuration tool and talk about exactly that here.

They do that with jargon too "k8", "config". When used well it can help you belong to the tribe you are marketing to.

blog
developer experience
call to action

Blog CTA from v7

Interesting dev blog CTA idea from V7.

CTAs in technical articles is a tricky subject:

  • Go too aggressive and "obviously an ad" and devs ignore it or get angry
  • Go too subtle and you may not get the readers attention at all

I like how V7 approached it here:

  • They add a separate (aside) section but it is subtle, feels like a part of the article
  • They use a GIF image creative that catches my attention and simply shows the product
  • They used various ย anchor link CTAs. Interestingly these often get more clicks than buttons

What I'd change/test is making this CTA not a generic value prop but something closely connected to the rest of the article.

swag
conferences

Big Lego set giveaway from Sigma Computing

Instead of giving away hundreds of small things that people will forget give away one thing that leaves an impression.

And a huge LEGO set is a great candidate for that one big thing. There is a big overlap between devs and folks who love LEGOs. They are both builders after in their hearts.

Now, some important considerations:

  • Create a giveaway so that you can still get all your badge scanned, social mentions, GitHub stars KPIs
  • Make the prize visible to conference participants. Put it out there. Make it obvious.
  • Make participating relatively easy to complete.

You need to commit to it too.

Don't do 3 different things like that at a conference. Focus on one play like this at a time and try other cool ideas at another conference.

Folks from Sigma Computing ticked all these boxes. ย Love it!

brand
campaigns
billboards
ads

"Ask your developer" billboards from Twillio

Just wanted to share this classic dev tool branding campaign.

There is even a book about this from Jeff Lawson at Twilio.

But I recently saw someone share on HN that it got changed to "How can I reduce acquisition costs by 65%". Made me a bit sad.

But perhaps after years and years of working it stopped delivering any additional brand awareness/affinity.

Could they have come up with another flavor of "Ask your developer."?

Maybe. But maybe at their levels of mind share you are playing a different game.

The good thing is, you are not at that stage ;)

And f you pull off something that is 1% of the success of that famous Twilio campaign you can make your brand noticed and remembered.

I know we are in the year of doing what brings results right now. And branding campaigns may not make the cut.

But maybe we can (and should) afford to do something that helps us deliver that pipeline next year or a year after that?

social posts
linkedin

Toolstack diagram for Linkedin post

People want to be valued by their tribe.

One of the ways to do that is by being helpful.

So they want to share things that have a "smell" of insight.

Tool stack/workflow/pipeline chart makes them feel that way.

โ€

copy
swag
reddit

"Did X and all I got is this lousy t-shirt"

This is a solid swag copy template that resonates with devs.

"I did X and all I got was this lousy Y"

Why this works imho is:

  • it is snarky
  • it is a little self-deprecating
  • it brags a bit about the work/expertise

Very solid start if you run out of ideas.

video
landing page

Streamlit explainer video

Streamlit has an amazing explainer.

They show how to go from:

  • Writing your first line of code
  • To creating data dashboard
  • To deploying it across the web

In 42 seconds.

No audio, just code and a simplified result window.

Amazing stuff.

developer experience
pricing
docs

Pricing in the docs from fly.io

Pricing in your docs? That is how @Fly.io does it.

You click a pricing page link on their homepage and you go to the docs!

No 3 boxes with the "most popular" being the middle paid plan ;)

They just give it to you how it is. Exactly what you'd expect from the docs.

There are tables, explanations, and links to other docs pages.

Very bold decision imho. It definitely makes them feel super developer focused.

Plus if you do want a more standard, enterprise stuff you see:

"If you need more support or compliance options, you can choose one of our paid plans. These come with usage included and additional support options."

And that page looks like a classic pricing page.

But they focus on the developer buying experience here. Super interesting.

video
brand

General audience explainer video from Auth0

Handing #1 dev obstacle: "We can do it ourselves".

Check it out from second 0:35:

โ€"Iย bet you're like
We can do it ourselves, it's not that hard.
We know what we're doing.

First, Iย hear you.
Second, are you sure?"

This is mastery.
Pointing out ignorance without alienating people.

developer experience
copy
blog
call to action

Developer-focused blog CTA from Snyk

Pushing cold blog readers to try your tool rarely works.

So you need a transitional CTA, something that worms them up.
But it needs to be aligned with the goals of the reader.
And I think pushing folks to a community discord is a solid option.

I like the copy "Discuss this blog on Discord" as it is very reader-focused.
Some folks read the article and have more questions.
They want to discuss it somewhere.

And while you could just do a comments section, a community gives you more options to get people closer to the product.

campaigns
conferences

Speed Tetris at the booth from Storyblok

Conference activation idea: Tetris competition at the booth.

It is hard to get devs to your booth if all you offer is a "do you want to see a quick demo" spiel.

You need to get a bit more creative than that.

๐Ÿ’š The team at Storyblok ran a Tetris competition:

  • Playing station at the booth to make sure people come by
  • Live leaderboard for when people were not playing + to get folks to play again
  • Branding around the playing station for those who take photos to share it on socials
  • A cool devy prize (mechanical keyboard) to build some additional reason to play talk about it

Afaik it was a big hit and I can definitely see why.

๐Ÿ“’ A few more notes:

  • make it live at the booth, not available online -> you'll get no buzz for it otherwise (made this mistake)
  • try to get organizers to give you a few minutes of the schedule to give away prizes
  • if you can connect the game to your product in a memorable way do that. ย 

btw, Iย read about it on DX Tips. You want to check out that article on dev conferences from DX Tips

developer experience
landing page

Feature tabs header pattern from PostHog

Which feature/product to show in the header?

How about all?

Many dev tool products are feature-rich. And you want to show those awesome features.

But it is easy to overwhelm the reader when showing so much info.

That is why I really like the header tabs pattern that @PostHog uses:

  • You have clickable tabs with product names + descriptive icons
  • Copy + Supporting visual (UI, code etc) and a call to action in each tab
  • Supporting visuals are in vastly different colors to make it obvious you switch tabs.

This pattern is especially powerful when you want to communicate completeness.

Posthog definitely wants to do that. If you are on that train I'd strongly suggest considering/testing it.

video
youtube
ads
campaigns
brand

Postman "We did this" campaign video

How to do a dev-focused brand video and get 10M+ views?

Making a memorable brand video is hard.

Doing that for a boring tech product is harder.

Doing that to the developer audience is next level.

Postman managed to create not one but three of those brand videos that got from 4M to 10M youtube views.

The videos I am talking about are:

  • "I am gonna push some buttons"
  • "Together"
  • "We did this"

So what did they do right?

  • They are all short playful stories touching on values coming from a centralized API platform.
  • They hint at the motif of space which is a clear part of Postman's branding
  • They do show the actual UI of the product

Honestly, I am not exactly sure what special sauce they added but those are just great videos that you watch.

And I definitely remember them and the company which is exactly what you want to achieve with brand ads.

social posts
linkedin

Toolstack diagram post on Linkedin

Architecture diagrams are awesome.

They have this smell of value that makes you want to share them with others.

This one is particularly good-looking imho.

navbar
developer experience
blog
copy

Snyk navbar resources tab design

The "Resources" tab is the most loved and hated tab for developer marketers.

Ok so the common problem is that you have lots of different resources:

  • docs
  • product videos
  • meetup videos
  • recorded webinars
  • learning center guides
  • blog articles that don't talk about your product
  • and so much more stuff

You want to showcase them in the navbar but where do you put them?

Under product? Company? Docs?

How to make sure that people don't go to your blog to read about your product just to find out that you talk about the industry problems there?

Enter the "Resources" tab. The "Miscellaneous" of the navbar world.

And typically it is just crammed with all stuff that doesn't fit anywhere. Just like any respectable misc folder would. ย 

How do you deal with that?

Snyk approached it in a clear and logical way:

  • Add sub-navigation
  • Make it clear to devs which parts are about the product and which ones are not
  • They use "Using Snyk" and "Learn & Connect" that could be extended to "Using {Product} and "Learning {Category/Problem}"

I love this (and already stole the idea for our site).

video
youtube
campaigns
brand

"Between to Nerds" Video from SST

This is one of the most interesting content pieces I have seen in dev tools recently ๐Ÿ‘‡

Comes from @SST and believe it or not is a comedy video created to promote integrations.

That's right.

So SST integrated with Astro and instead of creating "just another how-to use X+Y" video they created this:

  • A copy of "Between Two Ferns" comedy show
  • With one of the founders of Astro framework which they integrated recently
  • Where they don't really talk about integration too much ;)
  • And reportedly got a ton of signups from this

It was a fun brand play but got way more views than a tutorial ever could.

And it connected with their audience in a human way that will be remembered (and shared).

Nice.

campaigns
seo
product led growth
free tools

Snyk Advisor SEO growth loop

Great example of programmatic SEO from Snyk.

They created a page calledย snyk advisor.

It is a repository of pages about open-source packages.

Each page is created automatically out of publicly available information.

Enhances it with Snyk-generated security scans and reports.

It builds awareness for other Snyk products in the security space.

A lot of those pages rank high in google for the {package} keyword which is incredible.

And when people land on the package report page the CTAs to Snyk products push conversions.

copy
developer experience
social proof
landing page
hero section

Landing page header from MedusaJS

There are many things that I like about it.

  • A clear value proposition: Explains what it is: an open-source alternative to a well-known product Shopify.
  • Shows code and what the code does visually. Great product explanation.
  • Adds a social proof with "#1 JS ecom platform on GitHub:". When you have 16k stars you should use it!

Overall with very little effort, I understand what it is, and what it does.

And I can go and dig deeper for myself or spread the word with my circles.

copy
call to action
landing page
hero section

Great developer-focused CTAs from Plaid

Action-focused copy is usually better than "sign up".

But sometimes it is hard to find a good copy for this.

Some teams like Vercel or Auth0 ย do "Start building " ย 

But that doesn't always work.

I really like this "Get API keys" CTA copy.

Now for the Hero section I really like those two CTAs:

  • Main CTA: Sign up, again expressed with action-focused "Get API keys" copy
  • Secondary CTA: See docs, I like how "See API docs" makes it even more concrete.

Really great job imho.

social proof
landing page
developer experience

Showing testimonials related to features from Appsmith

How to bring attention and trust to a feature section?

Add a testimonial.

Ideally, it should talk about that feature to make your message even stronger.

I like how Appsmith made it animated and it just makes you look.

And you read the testimonial and look at the feature above it.

Good stuff.

ads
campaigns
video
youtube
brand

"I'm gonna push some buttons" video campaign from Postman

How to do a dev-focused brand video and get 10M+ views?

Making a memorable brand video is hard.

Doing that for a boring tech product is harder.

Doing that to the developer audience is next level.

Postman managed to create not one but three of those brand videos that got from 4M to 10M youtube views.

The videos I am talking about are:

  • "I am gonna push some buttons"
  • "Together"
  • "We did this"

So what did they do right?

  • They are all short playful stories touching on values coming from a centralized API platform.
  • They hint at the motif of space which is a clear part of Postman's branding
  • They do show the actual UI of the product

Honestly, I am not exactly sure what special sauce they added but those are just great videos that you watch.

And I definitely remember them and the company which is exactly what you want to achieve with brand ads.

ads
video
youtube
social proof

CircleCI video testimonial ad

Testimonial ads are a format that helps you move people from "I know what you are doing" to "I trust you enough to do business with you".

Video testimonials are even better.

You see the person who has a similar role that you do saying things about the product you are considering.

CircleCI did a solid job here.

And so if you are running remarketing to people who went to pricing but didn't sign up, or signed up to a free trial but haven't converted yet this is a good format candidate.

Just watch it.

developer experience
pricing

Pricing plans structure from Postman

When selling dev tools you typically have 3 "buyer" levels:

Individual dev:

  • wants to experience your value prop
  • ideally wants to play/test/use the free tool
  • doesn't buy tools but strongly influences buying decisions
  • wants to use it right now, not talk to his boss to get a credit card, not talk to sales

Team lead:

  • wants to improve teams productivity
  • collaboration, developer experience, and happiness are important
  • buys tools at a team-level budget
  • doesn't want to go through a lengthy sales process but ย swipes the card and gets the team on this week

Org lead:

  • wants to improve the security and compliance of the entire eng org
  • security, control, governance
  • buys tools for the entire organization/enterprise
  • expects a longer sales process with a lot of moving parts and needs to discuss and negotiate

How does Postman solve it?:

  • packages their plans in a way that aligns with those buyers
  • different plans have features needed for Dev/Team lead/Org lead
  • CTAs are exactly what each buyer wants: Use > Buy > Talk

They even go the extra mile. Something I didn't see too often.

They understand their customer's reality and identified one more level between Org and Team.

Basically a department-level unit that probably has multiple teams but is not at the organization/enterprise level.

I really like what they did hear. Solid.

copy
landing page
hero section

Auth0 header copy

Classic Auth0 campaign coming back in 2023.

I love how simple and powerful this message is.

You can outsource a dull but important problem of authentications to them.

That is all the say.

But it is enough to get you interested and understand what they do.

ads
copy
vs competitor
campaigns
twitter

Vs competitor Twitter ad from Convex

VS competitor ads are hard to pull off with devs. Not impossible though. ๐Ÿ‘‡

So the problem is that:

  • You want to list problems people have with the competing tool.
  • But you don't want to come off as too negative and aggressive.
  • And you want people to not think those are just "some bs claims to sell your tool"

@Convex does it really nicely here:

  • They start positively by acknowledging that some people do "Love Firebase"
  • They tag the competitor to build trust in the claims they are making
  • They list problems people have with the competitor explicitly in voice of customer: "request waterfalls", "weak react support", "managing end-to-end consistency"
  • And they link to a deeper vs competitor page for details

And even though this is by a "aggressive" competitor marketing hundreds of devs liked/bookmarked this tweet.

Good job!

ads
reddit
copy
social posts

Basic Reddit Ad from Kubero

How did this super basic ad get so much engagement on Reddit?

First of all, the value prop is succinct, to the point, and says what it is.

No "streamlining", "boosting", or "democratizing" is involved.
No clever tagline or pains, benefits, or values just says what it is.

But what it is, is "free and open-source" which is what many devs, especially on Reddit want to hear.
And Heroku is a known brand so if you know what Heroku does, you know what Kubero does.

I liked that they linked out to the GitHub project too.

Not 100% sure if that would perform better than a landing page or home. ย But I see how it feels more in sync with the channel you are running your ads on.

The screenshot? I don't like it but perhaps it doesn't matter as much here?

What do you think?

Oh, and if you read the comments, you'll see that people actually talked about the project, said that they liked the ad etc.

Good stuff.

swag
conferences

Swag with CTAs from Union.ai

How to get more ROI from your dev conference booth? ->ย Add obvious CTAs.

Yes, giveaway stuff.

Yes, make it nice and branded.

Yes, make it funny, shareable, and cool.

But give people an easy and obvious option to give back and support you and your goals.

I really liked how Union.ai approached it at the recent MLOps World conference:

  • A simple folded paper info with CTAs right next to your giveaway
  • CTAs to GitHub stars, Linkedin, and Slack community

Just a nice little tactic but I bet it squeezed a bit more of that ROI juice that we all need in 2023 ;)

video
youtube
campaigns
brand

"Together" video campaign from Postman

How to do a dev-focused brand video and get 10M+ views?

Making a memorable brand video is hard.

Doing that for a boring tech product is harder.

Doing that to the developer audience is next level.

Postman managed to create not one but three of those brand videos that got from 4M to 10M youtube views.

The videos I am talking about are:

  • "I am gonna push some buttons"
  • "Together"
  • "We did this"

So what did they do right?

  • They are all short playful stories touching on values coming from a centralized API platform.
  • They hint at the motif of space which is a clear part of Postman's branding
  • They do show the actual UI of the product

Honestly, I am not exactly sure what special sauce they added but those are just great videos that you watch.

And I definitely remember them and the company which is exactly what you want to achieve with brand ads.

copy
call to action
product led growth
landing page

Posthog "do not talk to us" copy

Most devs want to explore products themselves.

They want to read the docs, see examples, play with the product, or watch a video.

They don't want to hop on a demo call, especially early on in the evaluation process.

And they definitely don't want to sit through the demo to learn what your pricing is.

But there will be moments when they will want to talk to you. They will raise their hands and let you know then.

Posthog speaks to this reality with this copy beautifully:

  • They basically say "don't talk to us"
  • They give you transparent pricing on the website
  • They give you a recorded demo on the website
  • They let you try the product for free without talking to them
  • But if you want to talk to sales/support you can reach out

This is very developer-focused approach and I love it.

social posts
ads
linkedin

Funny With/Without Linkedin ad format

With/without is a classic marketing campaign theme.

AhoyConnect does it nicely in this ad.

Obviously, not everyone loves memes.

But many devs do.

Those who do may smirk -> smirk builds brand affinity.

social posts
twitter

"Nostalgic" tweet format

Make it about belonging.โ€

Something some people can deeply connect with.
Nostalgia is a very strong emotion.

It feels good to be a part of something as well.

developer experience
landing page

Mongodb for developers section

Good in-place code pattern.

I can go and see different code snippets without moving to other parts of the website.

At the same time, I can read explanations and value propositions.

I like how "view documentation" is such a strong CTA with so much going on here already.

campaigns
github
product led growth

GitHub PR growth loop from Snyk

Beautiful growth loop that uses GitHub PRs to spread awareness even internally in the org.

And just one dev needs to sign up for the product to start it.

Works like this:

  • New user signs up for Snyk
  • they connect their GitHub account
  • Snyk finds vulnerabilities in their repositories
  • Snyk-bot creates Snyk-branded PR to fix them
  • other devs in the org see and interact with the PR
  • some follow links to check out Snyk
  • some of them sign up for Snyk

Heard about it onย Lenny's podcast episode with Ben Williams (the story starts at 20:53)

... and then signed up to see the actual PR.

I really love this one as it allows you to spread inside the organization even if everything is on-prem and you never get to see it.

Those PRs are just working behind the scenes doing marketing for you.

Brilliant!

developer experience
landing page
hero section

Header design from Iterative.ai

I love this simple design.

They show:

  • A GIF of code and console
  • Have a few tabs with features, explained
  • Social proof with Github stars

Simple, and powerful imho.

blog
call to action

"Aside" call to action from Auth0

A classic dev tool blog call to action that is somewhat underused these days.

Was going through Martin Gontovnikas blog and found a post from a couple of years back.

He called this "Aside CTA" and the idea is this:

  • You write an article about a problem X
  • You don't mention your tool much (or anything) in the article
  • But your product helps solve that problem
  • So you add an "Aside" at the end where you say that you could also solve it with your tool

Why this can work well with devs is:

  • You write a genuinely helpful article
  • You don't "pollute" the article with your product
  • You add value first with content
  • You let people "upgrade" their solution experience with your tool
  • You are explicit about what your tool does and what the content does.

Definitely a classic that is worth trying.

Read Gonto's article.

developer experience
landing page

Multi-tab GIF cross section website design from Supabase

I like the design of this crosshead.

  • Starts with the gif to catch my attention
  • When tabs change the copy, CTA, gif change
  • The figs have a nice click cursor that shows what I am doing
  • CTA is very "silent", non-intrusive
copy
developer experience
landing page
hero section

Header design from Alpaca

This is a simple but great header imho:

  • they explain what it is clearly: Stock trading API
  • they show the result: trading stocks
  • they show the code to drive the "it is for devs" point

Love it.