October 8, 2013

Selling artist merchandise is still a great way for artists to bring in revenue. It’s also a unique way to provide fans with the opportunity to get out there and provide visibility for their favorite artist. Every time your fan is wearing one of your branded t-shirts or hats, it is being seen by their friends and members of the public. 

With importance placed on social media in the overall artist marketing mix, marketers need to figure out how to best bring merchandise sales and social together. Sometimes they work hand in hand, and other times one feeds the other.

Watch for your fans checking in on Foursquare

By monitoring an event venue’s Foursquare check ins, you cannot only pull in valuable data but you can send geo-targeted mobile coupons. These coupons can be given to fans who are taking that extra step to share their activity on social media. These coupons add that extra incentive for fans to make a purchase at the merchandise table.

Show off your merch in social posts

Social posts reminding fans of merchandise available or posts unveiling new items not only remind fans of the merchandise you have available for sale, but can encourage them to check out your online shop. Good photography, enticing copy and a discount such as free shipping are ways to entice fans to click on your social post. If you really want to remind fans about your available merchandise, boosting your related Facebook posts or running an ad campaign will add another level of opportunity for clicks to your online store.

Bring social to life with merchandise 

This seems to be a growing trend, but it is a tough one to get right.  Marketers need to figure out how to incorporate the physical space with the digital while driving sales. Tough one, right?   

Instagram photo booths at concerts are growing increasingly popular with event planners and marketers looking to increase online buzz. But there is a merchandise aspect we can tie in. A coupon on the back of the printed Instagram photo could encourage fans to make a merchandise purchase. Or what if we could take their image and add it to certain pieces of merchandise for a more customized memento from the event? This is an area that will require creativity on the part of social marketers and artists.

When marketing your artist’s merchandise, be sure to remember the basics -- like trackable links, conversion tracking, and a user-friendly online store where your product images have social sharing buttons. And give Facebook offers, fan giveaways, and email marketing a try. Test out some new ideas and find out what your fans like. Then give them what they want.

Music Promotion Insiders
Music Promotion Insiders

About the author 

Nora Snoddy

As Digital Marketing Manager at W.A.Y Entertainment in Nashville, Nora Snoddy is responsible for developing digital and social media strategy, social media content creation and overseeing social media execution for artists. She believes that social media marketing can create unique opportunities for artists and is key in strengthening the relationship between the fan and artist.

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