With over 35 million downloads and a 3% share of the internet, Joomla is one of the most trusted and respected content management systems available.
As the internet develops and marketing becomes ubiquitous with the online experience, Joomla developers all over the globe are shifting in their roles and expanding their skill sets to learn how to create websites that help clients accomplish their online marketing objectives.
So what does all this mean for Joomla? How will the platform progress as the utility of a business website shifts? I believe many Joomla sites will soon be adopting Inbound Marketing functionality. Here's why:
The Internet's Purpose Has Shifted...And Marketing Has Too
Did you know that we spend one of every 12 waking minutes online? (Source)
Or that globally, 61% of internet users research products online before making a purchase? (Source)
Or, that 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email? (Source)
We could talk marketing statistics all day, but all the numbers align to tell us one simple thing: the use of the internet has shifted as marketing has asserted itself in the online space.
Today, effective online marketing is a partnership of beautiful design, functional development, and diverse communication mediums. These components build a company's online presence, which is absolutely invaluable to it's overall success and growth.
The truth is that marketing is completely intertwined with the internet, to the point where "digital marketing" seems redundant since any initiative which doesn't encompass the internet is lacking greatly.
But all online marketing is not created equal. Banner ads flash from the sides of our browser pages. Spam emails crowd our inboxes. It seems in every corner of the internet, there's another brand fighting for our attention.
These "outbound" methods aren't just annoying to the user, they're ineffective. The average person is served over 1,700 banner ads per month, but the average clickthrough rate is just .1% (Source) One study found that 84% of 25-to-34-year-olds have left a favorite website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising. (Source)
Inbound Marketing has emerged as a solution to the clutter, and it's gaining momentum because it works. Tactics like regular blogging, ethical SEO, social media engagement, and premium content all add up to a strategy that fills the void left by outbound efforts.
Inbound Marketing produces 3x the leads of outbound, and countless agencies and businesses have seen conversion rates skyrocket. It focuses on getting a business found online by a relevant prospect, rather than asserting the message out to masses of disinterested targets.
So we've reached a crossroads. If the statistics are to be trusted, the marketing of tomorrow will shift away from outbound and leverage the more cost effective and less annoying methods of Inbound. But will Joomla follow? And if so, when?
The Evolution of the Joomla Site
Joomla developers are notorious for being crafty. Truly, the functionality I've seen developers create in a couple hours with a couple coffees is truly staggering.
From Germany to Canada and Mexico to Japan, Joomla developers are diverse. But the one thing they all have in common is the ability to put their head down, crank out some awesome code, and create a solution that meets a completely unique client need.
It used to be enough for a company website to show some pictures, talk about their services, and provide a phone number. But as search engine marketing has changed and online information seeking habits have skyrocketed, the company website of today requires heavy functionality with opportunities to engage visitors on every page.
It's not enough for a business to have a website any more. It needs to have a marketing powerhouse.
More and more, we see developers getting requests for Inbound functionality. Email components, contact management, social media integrations, blogging extensions - these all fall under the umbrella of Inbound, and they all require fine tuning for each site they live on.
Sooner than later, developers will begin choosing the extensions that consolidate these tasks and make them easier for clients to handle on their own long after site launch. After all, isn't ease of use for the client one of the hallmarks of a well-made site?
Putting it All Together
Internet users are responding to Inbound marketing. Savvy businesses are adopting Inbound approaches. Web developers are finding and creating solutions to satisfy these Inbound goals. What does it all mean?
In short, it means that Inbound functionality is headed to Joomla. When you consider the millions of businesses using Joomla, and the masses of companies looking to employ and Inbound strategy online - it's only logical that we'll see Joomla extensions and add ons popping up to satisfy those needs. In fact, that's precisely how jInbound started!
It doesn't matter what industry we're discussing: Inbound is useful for Nonprofits, B2B, B2C, B2B2C, and everything in between. The more developers learn about Inbound marketing and get comfortable with extensions that satisfy it's implementation, the better they'll be positioned to meet the demands of an evolving client base.
So what steps will your agency take to become an Inbound authority? There are dozens of quality Inbound marketing learning resources available to help you off the ground, and there are already a small sample of Inbound Joomla extensions (think SEO, email, social media).
We anticipate many more and a lot of company for jInbound in the near future, and look forward to seeing the Joomla world embrace Inbound!