Agora is the leading video, voice, and live interactive streaming platform, helping developers deliver rich in-app experiences—including embedded voice and video chat, real-time recording, interactive live streaming, and real-time messaging. They run a thriving community consisting of a developer resources portal, a community GitHub organization, and a Slack channel.
Tony Blank is Director of Startup Programs at Agora. Upon joining in November 2020, he started to build out several programs including their startup and student certification programs, and jointly manage their developer community alongside the Developer Relations team.
The goal of these programs is to drive brand awareness, usage, and revenue 12 to 18 months down the line while the developer community grows overall brand engagement. The programs enable people to not just try Agora, but to build out something meaningful so that they can be confident it’s the right solution for them. But there was a problem: “It’s difficult to measure community engagement,” said Tony. “Community teams are often underserved when it comes to tools for data and insights—we had snapshots via manually gathered data. Or whatever individual tools could tell us, in isolation of all our other channels.”
Tony brought Orbit into Agora, and straight away, they got a clearer picture of their programs and community. “Even just getting a daily report into how many signups was a ‘wow.’ Before Orbit, we could only look at such stats once a month. Now we've got all our data together, we can see across Slack, social media like Twitter, and all our other channels. This means we can understand how social buzz relates to dev community engagement, for example, which is helping us think about how we can better capitalize on the opportunities that those platforms provide.”
Orbit is being introduced at Agora in phases. “Orbit is central to how we manage, measure, and grow our developer community and drive value back to the business,” says Tony. “We started with phase 1: measuring everything. So we hooked up our Influitive advocate hub with Orbit and we have our API key request form in there too. All our other data sources are feeding into it, from Slack to social channels, GitHub, and Reddit - it's all pushed into Orbit.”
Next came the learning phase, “which is basically watching and making sure that the dots are all connected,” says Tony. “From this, we could learn how the dev community wants to engage with Agora. This provides us with the baseline from which we can double down on what's working in phase 3.”
“With the reporting in Orbit, we can decide which activities to start, stop, or continue with,” explains Tony. “So we know what's working and can do more of it. We use the Orbit Model levels to understand the segments, size, and growth of the community. This means we can operate programmatically and set firm goals for ourselves, relying on Orbit to provide key metrics and then relating that back to outcomes.”
“We've got big plans for what we want to do with Orbit. Right now, it’s helping steer content and activities, but soon we’ll be tracking OKRs with it too. Then we'll be taking that tracked engagement and driving that into Marketo, which will enable a lot of interesting follow-on activity for other teams within Agora, like identifying potential case studies, tracking online training signups, and better understanding engagement with our web properties.”
“We've already used the insights we've gained from the platform to drive investment in dev community and to inform product decisions like which SDKs we should prioritize. Marketo is the source of truth for us, so our goal is to get every Marketo contact into Orbit to get additional insights for customer teams to use directly. This is huge for us, as it means that we have our own dedicated tooling and aren’t forced to use something meant only for sales teams.”