rOpenSci | Marketing Ideas For Your Package

Marketing Ideas For Your Package

Now that you have created your package, presenting it to the world is a crucial step to gain visibility and attract users.

Marketing your package effectively contributes to reaching the people your package can support, finding users to assist you in maintaining and improving your package and allowing you to learn about how people use it.

In this blog post we suggest a series of activities and tools for advertising your package.

🔗 Publish

Create a comprehensive README which clearly explains what your package does, how to install it, and how users can start using it. Include examples or use cases and (links to) any relevant information which might help users understand how your package can help them.

If you use GitHub, you can pin your package repository to your profile so other people can find it quickly.

Create a universe on R-universe, which will help users by simplifying the installation of your package, and which will provide useful stats and information about it. R-Universe is also a way to showcase your packages collection. You can also publish it on CRAN which is another way of simplifying the installation for your potential users.

Finally, consider submitting your package to our peer review process if in scope. All these steps will support you with discoverability and also to comply with quality standards. If this is of interest to you, we generally recommend submitting for review before submitting to CRAN as the review comments can often help with CRAN submissions.

🔗 Promote

Now that your package is published and ready to be used, here are some suggestions for things you can do to help promote your package and build it’s user base.

Leverage platforms like Mastodon, LinkedIn, and R-specific forums such as R-bloggers and R Weekly to announce the release of your package. You can also use your own social media or blog to share updates, tutorials, use cases, talks, and upcoming events where you will be available to engage with users.

If your package is part of the rOpenSci Suite you can write a blog post or a tech note for our blog and we will share in our monthly newsletter and our social media.

For rOpenSci packages, we collect the use cases and feature them on the website as well as the package. We also have social media campaigns, for example “A Package a Day” on Mastodon were we feature one package of our suite each day. On LinkedIn we publish every Monday our “Package Weekly Digest” with a list of five package that belong to the same category.

If you like to give talks, you can speak at an R User Group or R-Ladies Chapter. Organizers invite speakers but most groups are open to offers to give a talk or teach a workshop. Presenting your package at a domain-specific conference is another way to reach users and gain greater exposure. There are also R-specific conferences like useR!, LatinR, satRdays and Posit::Conf.

rOpenSci has two-hour co-working sessions each month, feel free to contact us if you’re interested in hosting a co-working session on a topic related to your package.

If your package has a broad scope, you can also propose an rOpenSci Community Call on your package. For example, a community call about targets included a panel with two users showing how they use the package and the principal author sharing new insights about the package. Alternatively, consider getting together with other package authors and proposing a domain-related Community Call, covering the use of several, more specific packages (for instance, Research Applications of rOpenSci Taxonomy and Biodiversity Tools).

You can check if your package fits in a CRAN Task View and propose the addition of your package.

If your goal is to find help to maintain your package, label your issues as “Help Wanted”" or “Good First Issue” to guide your contributors where their support is needed. Help Wanted issues of the packages in the rOpenSci suite are featured on our webpage, shared on social media and our newsletter. We also assist maintainers in writing a technical note for our blog post with more details on the type of contribution they need with their packages, whether it is code contributions, close issues or answering questions.

Publishing a paper about your package is an important aspect for academics developers. General R journals for publishing R packages are The R Journal and the Journal of Statistical Software, but remember that domain-specific journals may also publish R packages as tools for the field (for instance, Methods in Ecology and Evolution)

The package that are peer-reviewed by rOpenSci have a fast track for publication on the Journal Open Source Software.

🔗 Conclusion

As a package maintainer there are several activities you can implement to advertise your package. If you package is part of rOpenSci’s suite, there are also ways we can support you. By implementing some of these options we hope you can effectively reach users who can benefit from your package’s functionality.