Online marketing experts have been left breathless recently by the stunning success of the internet-based campaign against the proposed Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and Protect IP Act (PIPA) legislation in the US Senate aimed at regulating the internet to prevent the downloading of US intellectual property by overseas websites.
Critics were alarmed at the proposed legislation, warning that it was badly drafted and would lead to government censorship of the internet worldwide and damage online security.
Thus, the Stop SOPA campaign was born, and represented one of the most effective online marketing campaigns of all time, with tech giants such as Google, Reddit and Wikipedia all getting involved in a day of action on 18 January. The search engine censored its own logo, Reddit took itself offline, and Wikipedia blacked out all of its content.
The legislation has since been withdrawn indefinitely, after US legislators were unprepared for the depth of the protests. Here is the key factor that made Stop SOPA such a stunning success:
It had a clear message and a definitive call to action. The campaign drew on the purest aims of any online marketing initiative: make sure the target audience knows what the campaign is about and knows what is required of it. This is as true of campaigns trying to secure new customers as it is of an online protest.
Last Wednesday, all the sites involved made it clear why they disagreed with the proposals and made it possible for users to add their names to the protest, with Google alone managing to gain 4.5 million signatures an online petition alone, and so many emails sent to the Congress that servers fell over and government websites crashed.
When it comes to online marketing campaigns for your company or your website, it will pay to follow the examples of Google, Reddit and Wikipedia, by reaching out to as many potential clients or customers as possible. This can be done by many means, the primary ones being a professionally optimised website, the canny use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, and a regularly updated blog. You may not get the tens of millions of responses that the Stop SOPA campaigners managed, but the uplift to your company’s prospects will be noticeable!