Companies in the outdoor industry are increasingly facing censorship, with many being shadow banned or even banned from posting content on popular social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. This is not just limited to the outdoor industry, as other industries have also faced similar challenges. However, for the gun industry, the censorship is particularly acute, with a growing number of prominent YouTube accounts being de-platformed simply for discussing firearms.
This is a serious issue that is impacting businesses of all sizes. We live in a time when the Silicon Valley Tech Giants are monopolizing the internet, swallowing up content, and crushing organic growth for alternative media websites. They are building a system that forces us into communities they can control, censor, and regulate. And it’s not just the little guys who are feeling the sting. Even large prominent companies in the outdoor industry, who are simply trying to promote their products and ideas, are being shadow banned and even banned outright from social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
Guns.com has been on YouTube for a decade, with over 100 million views on videos featuring cool guns, interviews with American Sniper Chris Kyle and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, and behind-the-scenes factory tours. But we were suddenly hit with video deletions, hard strikes, and a two-week ban from uploading new content without any clear explanation from YouTube.
In 2019, Facebook and Instagram banned influencer posts promoting firearms under the category of “branded content.” This move has resulted in many content creators being unaware of their limited reach on these platforms.
In early 2023, YouTube implemented a policy to remove suppressor-related videos from its platform, resulting in multiple channels receiving “strikes” and facing the risk of being permanently deleted from YouTube.
In 2021, Facebook faced criticism after prohibiting advertisements for gun holsters, safes, and body armor. The social media giant claimed that it was limiting discussion of “weapons accessories” and “protective equipment” to protect the country during the election and inauguration. This move was met with backlash from gun rights advocates who argued that it unfairly targeted law-abiding gun owners and businesses.
Erich Pratt, senior vice president of the Gun Owners of America, a Pro-Second Amendment Group, said, “The new restrictions Facebook just implemented ‘out of an abundance of caution’ are laughable. Among other things, they are banning ads for safety vests and safes, which are purely defensive or safety-related items. This just proves that Facebook has never been about safety. They have become a Ministry of Truth — a propaganda arm of the anti-gun Left.”
This kind of censorship is concerning because it stifles creativity and limits free speech. It also makes it difficult for companies to market their products and reach their target audience. The internet should be a place for people to express themselves, share their ideas and promote their businesses. However, it seems that the Tech Giants are determined to silence any views that do not align with their own.
It’s a never-ending war against free speech, and it’s time for us to fight back. We cannot rely on these tech giants to provide us with a fair and open platform to share our ideas and promote our businesses. We need to take matters into our own hands.
So, what can companies in the outdoor industry and beyond do to overcome this censorship and market effectively on digital channels? Here are some tips:
Break Free from the Social Media Bubble: Diversify Your Marketing Tactics
In this digital age, it’s easy to fall into the trap of relying solely on social media platforms for your marketing efforts. But what happens when these platforms start to restrict your reach, shadow ban your content, or even ban you altogether? To avoid being at the mercy of the Tech Giants, it’s crucial to diversify your marketing channels.
Email marketing is a tried and true method that has been around for decades. It’s a cost-effective way to communicate directly with your audience and build relationships with them. You can use email marketing to promote your products or services, share news and updates, and even offer exclusive discounts.
Influencer marketing is another powerful way to reach new audiences. By partnering with influencers in your industry, you can tap into their followers and gain exposure to a new audience. It’s important to choose influencers who align with your brand and values to ensure authenticity.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website and content to rank higher in search engine results. By focusing on SEO, you can attract organic traffic to your website, without relying solely on social media platforms. This is a long-term strategy that requires consistent effort, but the payoff can be significant.
Why Rely on Tech Giants? Build Your Own Audience Instead
Social media platforms can be a great way to reach new audiences and engage with your existing followers. However, relying solely on social media platforms can be risky. These platforms have control over the content you post, who sees it, and how it’s displayed. To avoid being at the mercy of the Tech Giants, it’s important to focus on building your own audience on your own website.
By building out your website with its own internal online communiy, you have more control over your content and can showcase your brand in the way that you choose. You can use your website to share blog posts, promote your products or services, and even create a community of loyal followers who live on your platform.
To build your own audience, it’s important to create valuable content that resonates with your target audience. This could be in the form of blog posts, videos, podcasts, or any other type of content that your audience finds engaging. By consistently providing value, you can build trust and credibility with your audience, which can lead to increased traffic, sales, and brand loyalty.
Explore new horizons: Alternative social media platforms to consider in your marketing strategy
Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have become household names. However, these platforms have come under fire in recent years for engaging in censorship and limiting free speech. As a result, several alternative social media platforms have emerged that don’t engage in censorship.
Platforms such as MeWe, GAB, and Rumble have gained popularity in recent years as a result of their commitment to free speech and their user-centric approach. By using these alternative platforms, you can reach new audiences and engage with your existing followers without worrying about censorship.
Fight for Freedom: Speak Up Against Online Censorship
Censorship is a growing problem in today’s world of sensitive WOKE snowflakes, and it’s important to speak out against it. Whether you’re a business owner or an individual, advocating for freedom of speech is crucial in protecting our democracy and our rights.
One way to speak out against censorship is to join online communities that share your values and beliefs. These communities can provide a platform for discussion and advocacy, and can be a powerful force in effecting change.
Another way to speak out against censorship is to advocate for change in policy. This could involve contacting your elected officials, signing petitions, or participating in protests or rallies. By raising awareness and advocating for change, we can ensure that our voices are heard and our rights are protected.
Ready to Break Free from Digital Censorship? Richardson Marketing Can Help You Overcome Censorship and Expand Your Marketing Reach
It’s clear that censorship is a looming threat to businesses in the outdoor industry and beyond. It’s up to each of us to take action and protect our freedom of expression. By diversifying your marketing channels, you can ensure that your message reaches your audience, regardless of the whims of tech giants. Building your own audience is another important step, as it gives you more control over your content and allows you to connect with your audience on a deeper level. And don’t forget about alternative social media platforms, which provide a haven for free speech and open discussion.
If you need help navigating the changing landscape of digital marketing and combating censorship, Richardson Marketing is here to help. Our team of experts can help you diversify your marketing channels, build your own audience, and utilize alternative social media platforms. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you overcome the challenges of censorship and expand your marketing efforts.