Product-led growth (PLG) has been one of the hottest terms in marketing for several years, and recently it’s become more prominent in the developer marketing space. Coined in 2016 by Blake Bartlett at OpenView Partners, PLG describes a growth model where product usage drives customer acquisition, retention, and expansion. Twilio, Stripe, and Shopify are known as developer-first organizations that use a PLG strategy, but there’s one thing that really helps set them apart: their content.
At Catchy, a developer marketing agency based in Seattle, our content team has seen a significant uptick in client interest in PLG. Over the last six months alone, we’ve had more clients come to our door asking for PLG support than we have in the rest of our 13-year history. This isn’t surprising, considering the 2022 Product Led Growth Benchmarks report found that 58% of B2B SaaS companies had a PLG strategy last year and 91% of them planned to increase their level of PLG investment.
PLG is here to stay and developer marketing professionals have been creating content to support it for years, whether they’ve realized it or not. Developers are, at their core, an audience that wants to get hands-on with a product to learn, build, and scale. The key to any successful developer marketing program is a brand’s ability to provide the right content that gets the product into users’ hands as seamlessly as possible.
In the following blog post, we’ll go over the types of content that are the foundation for a best-in-class PLG strategy.
So, what content do developers really want?
The first step to creating content that supports PLG is mapping out each stage of the developer journey. No matter what stage they’re in, the ultimate goal is to provide developers with an easy way to self-serve. If you don’t provide content like this, users have a steeper uphill climb searching out the information they need to prove the value of your product or get answers to issues or bugs they encounter. Spending hours digging up answers on Reddit or Stack Overflow definitely isn’t making a developer’s life easier.
Here’s what you need to know about the goals of PLG content in each stage.
In the Discovery stage, the goal is to make your product stand out. You need to quickly inform developers what unique value your product will add to their lives and how they can quickly begin to implement it. Developers want to make sure a tool that’s good today will still be good five years from now. Your content should address the key questions they’re using to evaluate your product, such as the quality of the documentation, ability to scale, integration with existing ecosystem of tools, and more.
If you’re starting from scratch, checking the search volume of relevant keywords using the Google Keyword Planner can be helpful. If you type in something like “code review tool,” you can filter by average monthly searches and use the results to guide what you create. For example, “code review checklist” has a high number of searches per month, making it a piece of content your users might want to see.