For many in the firearms industry, marketing can be a challenge. The restrictions placed on this industry provide a level playing field for other gun shop owners and brokers, but have fewer options than so many other industries.
It is understandable that social media, online forums and search engines limit advertising and what can be posted, but it leaves many with the question of what exactly can a gun dealer actually do for online marketing.
Online Promotion Restrictions for Weapons
Almost any of the online platforms have similar types of policies whether it be for legal reasons through liability, because of their online community and sometimes just because of politic leanings.
If you are a gun shop owner or manufacturer, know that you are not alone. There are quite a few industries that have similar limitations. This ultimately leads to the question of: “What can you do?”
SEO for The Firearms Industry
Even though advertising can be tricky, organic search results are one of the biggest untapped opportunities for gun shop owners and brokers. You’re website can be the resource online for so many highly searched for terms and the best part is, you are oftentimes not competing for top spots with those ads that so many other industries struggle with.
Run a search for almost any other product out there and you would see the first three or four spots dominated by ads. For a technology magazine and a European news website to show up as 3rd and 4th result indicates that most firearms businesses are not targeting this opportunity. Perhaps many do not see it as being worthwhile.
Considering the terms alone can drive so much traffic:
ar 15 rifle gets over 18,000 searches per month
ar-15 rifle gets almost 8,000 searches per month
ar-15 style rifle gets 6,500 searches per month
ar 15 rifle for sale gets over 4,000 searches per month
These are extremely conservative terms from a third party tool. I am willing to bet the numbers are far higher.
These are just a few keywords. The number of related search terms are mammoth and opportunities are very profitable. Having seen the cost of running ads for other industries, I can tell you to run ads, (if it were possible), for those above terms would be very expensive.
Build An Email Newsletter List
Email marketing is one of the most direct to target consumer marketing available to the firearms industry. Of all of the marketing channels, you will find this one to have the least restrictions. It is easy to track success and because the consumer market is receiving less advertising, they are usually very receptive to the offers.
Online Video Marketing
YouTube, Vimeo and others do currently allow a wide assortment of video posting related to guns, ammunitions and accessories. Since the online consumer is constantly researching how to videos, reviews and any number of different related topics, these are great places to get branding exposure and encourage visitors to visit your website, sign up for social media and become newsletter subscribers.
Knowing the rules ahead of time is of the utmost importance. operating within their policies will allow you to market effectively for years to come as much of the information surrounding weapons has longevity.
Social Media Platforms
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the others still are very useful for driving interest in your products. But again, know their policies. These Web 2.0 platforms always reserve the right to suspend your accounts with no recourse other than their reconsideration.
Many manufacturers, gun ranges and pawn shops do very well and build loyal audiences through this medium and you can definitely use creativity with your audience.
If you would like to schedule a call to discuss your marketing, use our online calendar and find a time convenient for you. Or if you just have a question, you can fill out our form below.