Uphill Battle


Digital marketing is constantly changing. Algorithms are ever-evolving and it’s not uncommon for tech giants like Google, Meta, Apple and Microsoft to make sudden policy changes without warning — as was the case in January when YouTube updated its firearms policy. The change just so happened to roll out while much of the industry was preoccupied at SHOT Show 2023, which I’m sure was purely a coincidence … NOT!

The most notable changes are in regard to live streams. Examples of content no longer allowed on YouTube include “live streams that feature someone holding or handling a firearm, regardless of whether or not they are firing it, and live streams that feature someone transporting firearms from place to place, such as by carrying them or traveling with them by car, truck, or other vehicle.”

YouTube does, however, specify neither of these applies to firearms in video games (insert eye roll here).

Now, you might be thinking these changes aren’t a huge deal because your company rarely, if ever, does live streams. But, for those whose marketing strategies include working with influencers and/or digital-only publishers, this may have more of an effect than you think. And ultimately, it’s further proof of how important it is to have a diverse marketing mix that includes both traditional and digital media.

As big tech continues to make its advertising and content policies more and more restrictive to those in the hunting and shooting industries, remember, GUNS Magazine, American Handgunner, American COP and Shooting Industry continue to give clients direct access to reach their target audience. Get in touch with your ad rep to learn more about our offerings!

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