If your school website serves as a go-to source of information on what’s happening in your community, you’ll want to extend your yearbook marketing efforts there.
There are bunch of reasons why, but here’s the one that we don’t think gets discussed enough: if you’re selling your book online, having yearbook information (and a link to purchase it) on your site makes this the easiest, friendliest process for someone to buy a yearbook.
And anytime you can market your yearbook in a way that directly leads to sales, well… you should probably do it.
You’ll need to put in a little bit of work to determine what you want to say on the site (and how you want to say it), and you’ll probably need to work with your school’s webmaster to have it posted, but the time investment is worth it: unlike posters, flyers, email, and even social media, you’ll only need to do the work once. Then, it’s there for the entire school year.
If you ask us, you can’t beat that type of return on your time.
Here are the best ways to get started.
Have a Dedicated Yearbook Page on Your School’s Website
What’s that saying: shoot for the stars?
The best possible outcome for marketing your yearbook on your school’s website is getting a dedicated page. (And if you want to make the best even better: have it linked from the main navigation bar and clearly labeled, so that parents and students can find it quickly.)
Your main focus of this page should be how to purchase yearbooks. Make this information front-and-center, with either an easy link or button to bring them to the ordering page. With this, keep it short and simple. “Click here to buy your yearbook.” Below, if you’d like, would be a great place to go into a bit more detail: price, early bird discounts, and deadlines.
Another benefit of having this page is that you can keep interest piqued through special teasers or student involvement. This is where you can have your Dropbox for photo submissions and requests for story ideas, or, if you’re able to update throughout the year, have a “Sneak Peek” preview section. Whether it’s a spread, mod, or photo, it will get everyone excited about the final product. After all, everyone loves seeing photos of themselves and their friends, and it will remind them of why they love the annual yearbook to begin with—and remind them to click on that link to purchase.
Make it Easy for People to Find Your Yearbook Webpage
It may not be something you think about naturally, but how easy your school’s website is to navigate can play a huge part in whether people can even find your dedicated page.
As we mentioned above, you’ll want to try to get your yearbook page as its own tab on the site’s navigation bar, so that it’s always immediately visible from any page. If that’s not possible, though, shoot for being included as a sub-page in a dropdown menu that makes sense.
A sub-page is a link that sits below another category on your school’s navigation bar. For example, if you mouse over the “Student Life” button, “Yearbook” would appear as a sub-option.
This is usually an easier approval process than a dedicated tab in the main navigation bar, but there are risks associated with it: if someone doesn’t hover over the appropriate category tab, they’ll miss the link. So choose wisely.
Place a Banner Ad on the Homepage
A banner ad is a simple message, set as a clickable link. (But you probably knew that, since they’re pretty much everywhere on the Internet.)
Like the dedicated page, you’ll want to focus your main message on how to buy a yearbook (in this case, it’ll need to be short and captivating). This a good starting place for schools who don’t have the time or resources to get a dedicated page completed. You’ll definitely want one on your homepage, but other pages that get a lot of visitors are fair game, too (just talk with your webmaster about what those pages are).
Good yearbook companies will have banner ads you can use for free. Here’s an example of a few we offer here at TreeRing:
Bonus Exposure on your School’s Website
In addition to the main website, your school might also have a newsfeed or a blog. If it does, you can turn up the volume on your yearbook exposure by writing a post about the yearbook. This is a great place to put those “Sneak Peeks” that really get people excited to see their friends in print—and is a nice secondary location for that information on how people can buy a book.
Getting the Word Out with Yearbook Marketing Online
The options available for advertising on your school’s website are really only constrained by your creativity (well, that, and your time). Whether you have a dedicated yearbook page, are writing a couple blog posts, or just want to get attention with a banner ad, any effort dedicated to sales on the school’s website will be worth it all year ‘round.