In the early days of API promotion, there was mostly a simple release-and-sit-back approach taken by most enterprise-level businesses seeking to put their product into the hands of the waiting public. As niches saturate, the public is still waiting but now there are so many competitive products rushing to fill their hands that active promotion on multiple fronts is an absolute necessity. It’s difficult enough to develop an API to current standards without being saddled with the even more intensive promotional burden of going it alone.
Collaboration is a Proven Key for Promotional Success
The technological sphere is rapidly bulging and primed to explode – insofar as user-access is concerned. More than at any time in history, the casual consumer has nearly as much access to the fruits of company servers as the programmers themselves, given the growing popularity of cloud computing, mobile marketing and even BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies at many workplaces. This climate has fostered a veritable deluge of APIs and other interactive platforms that tend to drown one another out. This is where an enterprise-centered developer community can tip the scales. By taking over the involved promotional requirements and leaving the API developer to focus on the programming aspects, a developer community functions as a support system with additional security measures. More specifically, a few of the benefits are outlined:
- A sufficiently robust developer community – such as SOA Software’s API platform Atmosphere, for example – will have catalog-publishing capabilities, with an attendant search-function for APIs to spread the news of their arrival throughout a large social network.
- There will be facilities to make an API app-centric, which is a powerful tool in this new age of mobile marketing, where apps are a primary means of B2C communication. On the other hand, B2B interaction is highly customizable to aid desired levels of API access.
- The encouragement and support of erecting social forums which can be customized for different levels of access commensurate with the users permissions. It helps with accountability, even as promotional efforts are in full swing.
- There are few (in fact, probably only one) social blogging networks more successful these days than Twitter, with its almost fully-open API that receives tens-of-billions of requests monthly. A top-tier developer community will emulate this format, providing its customers with an interface that encourages interaction. It will have a “following” aspect enabled, so that prospective customers can keep abreast of what their favorite groups and applications are up to.
While a developer community can be a definitive enhancement to any API marketing program, there are still the standard promotion tips that shouldn’t be overlooked, and which should be incorporated at the inception of the API outline. Keyword-targeted domain names and press releases should form a functional part of a multi-pronged promotional campaign. Employing analytics (from Google or a comparably powerful business) to learn more about the kinds of visitors that frequent related sites can help point a marketing plan in the right direction.
In short, the days when a programmer or developer could simply count on search engine optimization to promote their APIs are all but gone. The competition is too steep. Teaming up with proven communities that specialize in promoting, securing and otherwise enhancing APIs is the present and future in spreading the word about new APIs.