Digital Discourse: Sammy Andrews on artist opportunities in Q4

Digital Discourse: Sammy Andrews on artist opportunities in Q4

Deviate Digital CEO Sammy Andrews guides you through the ever-changing tech world. In this edition of Digital Discourse, she guides you through the methods to monetise or build engagement with your audience during Q4…

When Q4 is in full swing, our business always has a unique opportunity to capitalise on the festive spirit and boost income and engagement. I’ve covered this over the years when focusing on key dates like Black Friday, Thanksgiving and Cyber Monday, but this month I wanted to share a list of things you can implement during the season.

Whilst economic belts are uncomfortably tight right now, there are still many ways you can monetise or build engagement with your audience. Here are a few examples...


In the past, if you said the words “Christmas content” to most artists, they would run a mile, but times are changing. There are so many ways to tap into the festive spirit without donning a Santa suit or murdering a Mariah Carey cover. You could look at creating an alternative Christmas playlist (with one of your tracks seated in the top three places), or a selection of Christmas bangers. Movie and book recommendations also work, as do mental health tips (a topic that resonates with many during this time of year) or winter recipes. Beyond that, you could try New Year’s Eve party planning tips, skincare routines, story times, festive traditions, reflections on the year – the list is endless! Whatever you ask an artist to do, just make sure it is authentic to them.


Some of the ideas above are also great ways to tap into affiliate scheme incomes, the financial backbone for many content creators’ incomings outside of ad revenue. This is an age-old label trick, but for artists and content creators it’s an easy way to make money. When the user clicks a link and buys something, the artist is paid! On Amazon for example, you have Direct Qualifying Purchases and Indirect Qualifying Purchases. With Direct you get up to around 12% of the purchase price, on Indirect you can get 1-3%, but if the buyer uses your link to get a £500 bed, that’s a decent passive income. When posting a link to Amazon, always use an affiliate link.


An area I always see people fail in during the run up to Christmas is to only advertise merch to an artist’s immediate audience. Whilst that will work well with their direct fanbase, it’s not the fans buying the gifts, it’s their significant other, sibling, parent, grandparent, friend – anyone! When you’re entering a merch campaign for the gifting market you must understand who the audience is, and it ain’t the recipient, it’s the buyer. Plan your adverts. 


Implement strategies to improve your website’s visibility on search engines. Use keywords, meta tags and optimise your product descriptions. You can glean some insight from looking over your Google Analytics and trends, but make sure you’re appealing to all relevant audiences.


Make the checkout process as smooth as possible. One of the big things we flag with clients at Deviate is the customer journey. A whole new generation are used to paying for things on their phone. If you have 30 clicks plus data input and the user is short of attention, they’re going somewhere else. Take the time to run through your user experience and adapt it where necessary. I have sent several big company CEOs screen recordings of their user journey over the years and once acknowledged and altered, it revolutionises those businesses e-commerce strategies.


This seems obvious, but so many people get it wrong. Use social media to promote your e-commerce offerings but make sure it’s with native content to the platform. Share engaging content, run targeted adverts and create buzz around your merchandise and releases in a way that is authentic and appealing to the end user.


Many of us have spent countless summers gearing up for Christmas album releases. I remember fondly, one day in June, Annie Lennox asked me to get in her car so we could drive around and listen to her beautiful record, a Christmas Cornucopia. The confused look on Notting Hill residents’ faces as we drove around with Annie singing along to her festive tracks during the summer will live with me forever. Deviate have also worked on two LadBaby Christmas No.1s so we know what it’s like getting fired up for Christmas in the sun! My advice to anyone entering the annual evergreen Christmas album fray is to go hard on your fanbase but make sure that you’re targeting your adverts to any relevant audience in the right mood for that track or release. If you get it right, it’ll pay off for decades to come.


Finally, don’t forget the rush after December 25. Millions of people have either got vouchers or money for Christmas and have been stuck at home for days with their family and are now doom scrolling their way into the new year on their phones. Take that opportunity to sell to your core fanbase. If you’ve played the content game well in advance you’ll have a nice pot of engagement data heading down your funnel. That is the time to translate that to sales, tickets or streams.


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