Technology is the language of the 21st century. Those who master it have a competitive edge and influence. With the rise of products that require technical knowledge, early stage startups frequently leverage the followers of their early angels and investors to help them evangelize what they’re building. As a technical product scales beyond the small tech circles in Silicon Valley, it’s important to get your product tested and validated by creators who can show their audience how to use and why they should try your product. This is where the technical content creator comes in.
Ten years ago, a high schooler had to write essays looking up sources from books and online academic journals like JSTOR. Today, a 16-year-old could nail an English essay using GPT-3 in minutes thanks to a quick search on YouTube.
The same case is with the new wave of AI tools generating art. It is now easier than ever for anyone without an AI background to use the tech when thousands of tutorials have been shared on the Internet.
Companies are seeing the influence of technical content creators in adoption and distribution of their products. Some are even considering hiring them in-house.
Why? Because unlike mainstream content creators and influencers, technical content creators don’t just blast your product to their audience. They educate potential users on how to use it, and most importantly, what it can do for them.
At Worklife, we’re thrilled to see the rise and impact of technical content creators. They will soon become both a trusted extension of onboarding teams, and the building blocks to spread products.
Isn’t a Technical Content Creator Just Another Name for an Influencer?
A technical content creator is a technical “influencer.” This is someone who tests, validates, reviews, and shares a product.
Influencers have a pretty substantial impact on our purchases, with 92% of consumers trusting online recommendations.
Unlike regular social media influencers who “pump” products to their audience, technical content creators are practical, walking audiences through the product and showing others how and why they should use it.
When it comes to picking a new product or buying a new brand, loyalty and engagement make a big difference. Technical content creators have both.
Expectations for influencer marketing are changing.
Technical content creators ages 18-34 get the most views on average, and that means that younger audiences are becoming technology consumers who want trustworthy brands and voices.
Gen Z prioritizes authenticity, which means they aren’t going to buy something just because you tell them to. They need to trust and like you. Focus is shifting to strategies like:
- Audience focus: Instead of promoting products to everyone and hoping to reach the right people, creators focus on niches.
- Authenticity: Consumers are more interested in authentic conversations over sales-driven content. Technical content creators promote themselves as regular people who love and use tech, making their perspective valuable.
- Relatability: People love to relate to others, which is why 61% of people find “people like them” to be more credible than just any content creator. Technical content creators in every category attract viewers just like them.
- Engagement over followers: Content creation and influencer marketing have shifted to engagement over followers, with engagement being higher for smaller creators.
This is why paying influencers to promote your product isn’t the best strategy anymore. It might push your numbers slightly, but unless you have a deeper engagement with them, that one-off TikTok will feel good for one day.
So Who Are the Technical Content Creators?
The true technical content creator is a multi-hyphenate, embodying and executing multiple roles often simultaneously. They are creators, developers, designers, writers, editors, marketers. The list goes on. The four most forward-facing technical content creator archetypes are:
- The Educator
- The Reviewer
- The Designer
- The Developer
Rather than rely on an influencer to provide little more than views to a brand, startups are partnering with technical content creators to onboard new users and promote the intricacies of their product to a growing network of users.
The Educator Technical Content Creator
Arguably the most common technical content creator, the educator role is often an intrinsic function in tech creation.
Technology is like a living document—it is never finished. So as the newest iOS update comes down or next-gen platform is released, companies are relying less on user manuals and more on engaging technical content creators to keep their products at the forefront of the market.
With the number of startups growing, the demand for educator technical content creators will soon be booming. What was once a luxury is fast becoming a necessity to stay competitive and edgy.
A precursory glance around YouTube is enough to discover a dozen tutorials by educator technical content creators: from advancements in data storage to upgrades in software to less-serious fare like meme generation.
Mayuko Inoue, known as Hello Mayuko on YouTube, is a technical content creator and software engineer.
She was previously an iOS engineer at Intuit, Patreon, and Netflix for six years, and officially became a full-time creator in 2020.
Her channel covers topics ranging from what it’s like to be an engineer, to teaching how to use Apple's Editor Xcode, to reviewing products used by your average tech worker (desk set-up, keyboards, headphones).
"I don't know that there's a point in which I was like ‘this is what I meant to do... but what I do know is that my first video on ‘A Day in the Life an Engineer’ made a big difference,” said Mayuko.
Growing up watching a lot of movies, and influenced by attending VidCon, Hello Mayuko has over 550,000 subs, and its most popular video has garnered 5.3 million views. But beyond the views, Mayuko has impacted the lives of many aspiring developers, as seen in the comments section.
With over 2.5 million viewers, Simplilearn is a 10-year YouTube success story with videos posted almost every day.
At its core, Simplilearn provides certification courses and training. With live instruction, peer-to-peer collaboration, on-demand lessons, and 24/7 learning support, the business has turned to YouTube to showcase the value of their courses.
Simplilearn's secret sauce?
- Partnering with instructors from top universities (i.e. UPenn and Caltech) and FAANG (Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Google), helping them reach a worldwide audience.
- Covering hot and trendy topics quickly, like NFTs and crypto a year ago.
The Reviewer Technical Content Creator
Any search-engine optimization (SEO) marketer will stress the impact of reviews on a business or website.
In fact, 79% of customers put as much weight on online reviews as they would on the recs of family and friends.
The reviewer becomes the Yelp for tech. They are a source of truth for audiences who are looking to find the best tool in a specific category, because they’ve spent years building up their reputation around that same category.
The best reviewer technical content creators are those who play the long-term game, who are consistent, authentic, versatile, and show curiosity.
Geekflare is a great example. Created in 2015, Chandan Kumar launched Geekflare as a personal project to share ideas, where people could find out what were the latest trends in their field.
Now, Geekflare provides you with a one-stop shop for free resources (articles, tools, API) to help marketers, bloggers, designers, freelancers, startups, and medium businesses find the best tech resources. They cover topics like:
- Cloud computing
- Web security
- Web hosting
- Digital marketing
The Designer Technical Content Creator
The role of a designer in tech has changed. In the early 2000s, smartphones didn’t exist. In the 2010s, Instagram, Webflow, and DoorDash were just getting started.
Designers have become key hires, as mobile design and low code are now the way products are built. Their expertise in distilling complex technical systems made them well-suited to the challenge. In 2017, there was a design shortage. Big tech that had previously ran on as little design resources as possible began hiring quickly.
The rise of design brought the rise of the designer, the rise of product design courses, the rise of design products, and the demand for more content to become a designer. Thus, the designer technical content creator was born.
From teaching the latest Figma features to demystifying AI in art, the designer technical content creator is one of our favorites, because their content has allowed anyone to be a creative.
University design courses are outdated. Bootcamps can be expensive, but designer technical content creators like Flux Academy are creating a content machine to show how you can become a designer, too.
Flux Academy is a global brand led by Israeli designer Ran Segall. They offer hundreds of videos to his 487,000+ subscribers, providing design tutorials for newbies and pros.
His content breaks the barriers for people to use both Webflow and Figma, while serving as an ambassador for both brands.
Flux Academy isn’t the only one. Below’s a list of designers who have become full-time design content creators in the last five years:
- CharliMarieTV (215K+ subscribers)
- Design Code (176K+ subscribers)
- Mizko (82.1K+ subscribers)
- Aliena Cai (31.6K + subscribers)
- Arnau Ros (22.1K+ subscribers)
The Developer Technical Content Creator
Behind every educator, reviewer and designer is the developer technical content creator.
With AI-based business applications projecting 10x efficiency over non-users, the need for technical content creator-developers is at an all-time high. Well, until next year. And the year after that. And…you see the pattern. And it isn’t just AI that will increase demand for developers.
Over the next three years, an estimated 31 billion devices will be connected to the Internet of Things (IoT)—the name for all network-connected devices sharing information.
In the next five years, it won’t be enough to have only our current workforce of devs available to companies. At this expansion rate, employers will need more devs who know the latest tech. This is where the developer technical content creator comes in.
The developer technical content creators teach aspiring and veteran devs:
- Programming from scratch
- New ways to solve problems
- How to build with the latest tech
- A breakdown of a new feature
For example, YouTubers like Fireship serve as both the developer technical content creator and the educator. The channel has 1.6M subs and over 177 million views, and started only five years ago.
His videos offer high-intensity code tutorials, helping new devs ship apps in different frameworks. And while these topics are commonly covered on YouTube, Fireship meets his audience with humor, adding content that is both entertaining and highly searched.
Cassidy Williams is a dev advocate, a software engineer, and a technical content creator. She’s currently serving as the CTO at Contenda, a platform creating lead-gen content assets derived from existing pieces.
Cassidy is a multi-channel content creator. With over 187,000 followers just on Twitter, Cassidy’s content ranges from showing her audience GitHub Copilot, to making relatable memes and cool keyboards, to writing her own newsletter.
Over the years, we've learned so much about DevRel from Cassidy’s workshops and content. If you haven’t yet, check out her “Zero to One Playbook for DevRels.”
Australian YouTuber Adrian Twarog, who covers software development using frameworks like React, CSS, React Native, reviewed the platform in his video “10 Websites Every Developer Should Follow.”
The video received 118,000 views. Unlike TikTok and Instagram, the magic of YouTube is that you can link to sources in the description, getting potential users to check out your product with one-click.
If you want to see other developer technical content creators, take a peek below:
Technical Content Creators: Fast Adoption and Distribution
From how to train AI to make music to developing a Webflow site in a day, technical content creators are breaking the walls for adoption and distribution.
Most technical content creators started with small niche audiences, so you don’t have to partner with ones who have millions of followers.
Instead, look at your most engaged users – are they creating content already for you? Look at micro content creators who would be thrilled to get first access to your product. They both might become your biggest evangelists.
Looking for more gems on content creators? Check out: