If you’re new to selling in the firearm industry, you may have learned that it is difficult to get traffic to your site right from the start. With so many players in the gun shop eCommerce game, it can be hard to drive customers to your specific site. Firearm advertising is also difficult in that you can not pay to advertise on major search engines like Google or Yahoo, because they ban gun marketing of any kind.
Gun forums are a great opportunity for firearm advertising because they are industry-specific. The forums have already gathered your target audience to the gun shop website without you having to put in any real effort. Gun forums typically have free memberships and are a place to get candid information in the firearm industry. There are many pros to using gun forums and they can be a great source for firearm advertising as long as you read the FAQs and follow the rules.
Gun forums are a great way to gather industry knowledge. Gun enthusiasts talk openly and candidly about their wants and needs, which in turn helps to drive your inventory. They talk about issues with firearm dealers in the industry, this can help you learn what you need to do in order to complete sales and keep customers happy. They also share positive experiences they have had with companies in the industry. Not only can this help your startup in knowing how to please customers, but it is also a great way to get free publicity after you make the customer happy. Firearm advertising has a lot of word-of-mouth customers and grows by positive reviews about your company and eCommerce site.
The main source of paid advertising for most industries is Google Ads. New companies can pay monthly to get their ads to show up for a somewhat targeted audience. Unfortunately in firearm advertising, gun-specific companies are not allowed to participate in Google Ads of any kind. Fortunately, the majority of gun forums allow for gun advertising in banner ads and side ads for gun companies as a source of revenue to maintain the forum. While it is problematic to not be able to advertise through Google, advertising on the gun forums is actually more beneficial because it is targeted to a specific audience that is choosing to look at the forum and the ads.
Firearm advertising on blogs also allows for better insight into traffic and tracking ads to specific conversions. Google Ads clicks and impression tracking is rather ambiguous and hard to trust; whereas, if you use a specific website for your paid ads, you can see exactly how much traffic the site gets on a daily basis by using tools like SEMRush. Our Gun Shop Commerce platform allows you to specifically track the URL from the forum to see how the customers interacted when they went through the check out process. This is especially helpful for firearm advertising when trying to track cost per acquisition of the ads.
Gun forums can be the holy grail of firearm advertising if you use it appropriately. There are several do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when using the forums.
When starting on a forum, the very first thing you should do is read the forum rules and the FAQ page and how it pertains to business and firearm advertising. Many forums do not want their clients spammed with posts about deals and sales. Keep any conversations individualized and conversational! Don’t copy and paste generic responses. If allowed, ask questions to the gun enthusiasts to gain knowledge on industry demand. Do NOT create an alias to deceive customers. While this may seem like an easy way to market to customers and get around the rules, there can be extreme consequences if the gun community finds out they were deceived to and lied to by a company. Most forum posts are not the time to sell or advertise but can be a place to comment on questions pertaining to firearms you may have in stock or sell. The forum users will appreciate the information and will then check out your business. If you're new to the industry, check out the rules on paid firearm advertising on each forum, this can be a great opportunity to increase traffic to your eCommerce website and in turn, make sales.
When used properly, gun forums can be a great source for firearm advertising geared toward a specific audience. Be sure to analyze forums by checking out the traffic to the site and comparing it to the price of the paid ads. Contact Gun Shop Commerce today to get started on a digital marketing plan for your eCommerce gun store so we can get your numbers where they need to be to meet your bottom line!