github as a Marketing Channel to Developers

Marketing products and services to developers can be difficult. They are unlike other consumers and often are difficult to reach and build trust with. Recently, I was discussing which group within a company is most likely to initiate a plan for exposing an API: development, IT, Product Development, or some other? And once released who should own the API?

I advocate that all departments should have a stake in the API, and whoever owns it after release should have roots in development. Not that the development or IT department should own it, but the person in charge should have a development or IT mindset, as well as business development, product development and sales and marketing. This can be difficult to find.

Marketing with github

When marketing your API to developers you can't think like a regular marketer, you have to understand where developers are. One such place is github, the social coding and repository site. O'Reilly Media recently identified github as an important marketing tool in the release of their book Mining the Social Web by Matthew A. Russell. O'Reilly uses github as a repository of source code examples from Mining the Social Web.

Not only is github a excellent tool for managing the source code of examples for a book targeting developers, but it is also a great way to market the book to an existing, vibrant community of developers like github.

When building your marketing strategy for your API community, make sure and consider how you can integrate github with your API code samples, SDKs, applications and developer community.