There is no such thing as “too much marketing”. When it comes to promoting your hackathon, don’t be shy and make sure you are taking advantage of all available resources. Here are some tips we’ve collected that might help you out:
Plan it out.
Formulate a well-thought-out marketing and promotion strategy for the duration of your hackathon. It is absolutely essential that you promote the competition as the developer and hacker audience is in high demand. Here are some key things to keep in mind with your plan:
- Schedule continued outreach. From your launch day to the submission due date and the winner announcement, you should schedule communications throughout your channels. We would recommend focusing your marketing early on in your submission period and then focusing on converting your registrants in the last few weeks.
- Draft easily shareable copy. Make it easy for your team and network to share your hackathon highlights with a quick one-sentence description and details.
- Proactively get resource approval for marketing. Whether it is purchasing a Marketing Package from Devpost, setting up Google Ads, or sponsored posts on LinkedIn, be sure you have approval and assets before launch so your marketing efforts are proactive and not reactive to low registration numbers.
Pick your channels.
Throughout your plan and marketing schedule, be sure to target developers on as many channels as possible. Below are some high-level examples, but ask around your organization to find any other potential channels for promotion:
- Devpost Marketing Packages
- Devpost offers a variety of marketing packages curated to promote your to our global community. Email us to learn more.
- Social Media
- Come up with a relevant hashtag to include on all promotional materials. Consider tweeting or tagging influencers.
- Videos and shareable content: creating shareable content for social media, etc can also help to broaden your online hackathon reach - and give those promotional partners something they're excited to promote.
- Existing Community
- Tap into your existing network; send an email blast to existing developers and any relevant users.
- Professional Network
- Ask your business partners, sponsors, judges, and even existing clients to spread the word to their networks.
- Media: press releases
- Conduct strategic outreach to tech journalists or bloggers who may have covered related articles in the past. Or reach out to journalists who have covered your competitors recently. If you have a press team, ask for their guidance here.
- In-person events
- Attend, network, and speak (if possible) at as many events as you can. There may be a few relevant meetups, conferences, and other developer events where you can spread the word.
- Virtual office hours or webinars
- Ask content creators of popular developer or tool-related webinars, blogs, or channels about cross-promotion or co-hosting with them. Try to be where developers already are.
Be sure you can measure your marketing efforts’ impact by making sure the traffic you send to Devpost is trackable. Use UTMs on your links to Devpost. UTM links are easy to make and are just adding parameters for Devpost to associate with the traffic. Here is the UTM builder we use Google's Campaign UTM Builder.
Check out the Metrics and Reporting section on Conversion data to see how this information will show up in your reports.
If you decide to purchase a Marketing Package with Devpost, we will provide you with weekly marketing reports to help keep up on track. Email us to learn more.