Adam DuVander talks a lot about the idea of “signature content”. I recently published my recap of an interview with Adam, where he mentioned that term, and since then, I came across another great piece from him. He calls it the “developer content mind trick”. The idea is that companies should not just publish content about using and integrating their APIs and products, but also explain how they built their service and how they solved the underlying problems.
Now, one might argue that this is giving away valuable intellectual property and allows people to copy you more easily. And, indeed, it can happen, but it probably would even if you didn’t publish. In the developer space, a significant competitor for every product is that a potential customer builds it instead of buying an existing solution. It’s the NIH syndrome - “not invented here”. Developers often see a product and think, “yeah, I could build that in a weekend”. It is where the mind trick comes in. You show how much effort went into the product and all the little corner cases that you’ve thought of that the potential consumer hasn’t. Hence, you demonstrate your expertise as a company and the value of your product.
In my last article, I mentioned the term “cornerstone content”. It comes from Jake Jorgovan, an entrepreneur running marketing agencies for lead generation. He is not in the developer space, yet a lot of his ideas are similar. Let me add two quotes from his e-book, “The consultant’s path to thought leadership”.
“By giving our secrets away, we established ourselves as the leaders in the field. This built incredible trust among clients and referrals from our audience.”
“For a small firm, your trade secrets can create far more value as marketing materials than you can by holding them close to your chest. You can teach everything you know, and use that to attract more deals and opportunities your way.”
It doesn’t matter if you call it signature content or cornerstone content. Two examples from different areas show how powerful it can be to produce great content about what your company does and how you do it and then leverage it to drive sales. To some extent, I’m doing something similar on this blog. I write about developer tutorials and content marketing, and I quote experts in the field, probably driving some of my readers to learn writing or hire them instead of me. But I bet that I can demonstrate my expertise in aggregating knowledge and connecting the dots between different ideas, and people want to work with me because of that.
And that is where you’ve reached my sales pitch. One thing I do is helping companies with developer marketing by creating technical content. Talk to me, and we’ll find out if I can help you.