You’ve heard the adage, and likely uttered it yourself: fail to plan, plan to fail. That advice works whether you’re saving for retirement or just trying to get yearbooks in the hands of students across campus. It’s also why you need a yearbook marketing plan (and all the free tools below). It may seem backward to start marketing a book that hasn’t been finished yet but this is the best time to create a plan and put it into action.
Three Ways to Start Your Marketing Plan
1. Set Your Goals
SMART Goals are prevalent in the ed world. My favorite principal once said, “We tell students they can achieve anything. But if I want to be an astronaut, I can’t just go into space tomorrow.” (There’s that planning need again.)
Reverse engineering the school year and yearbook production cycle will help you achieve your goals.
Here are some examples of SMART goals:
- Sell XX amount of yearbooks by November 15th
- Increase Recognition Ad sales XX% by April 15th
- Increase all Yearbook sales XX% by May 30th
2. Create a Calendar with Important Dates
We created this yearbook marketing calendar so you can plot important dates while creating a schedule that fits your school (and your sanity).
3. Recruit Your Team and Delegate Tasks
For each campaign, spread out the responsibilities. Using a marketing campaign template will help you stay organized by listing the budget, design development, communication modes, important dates, and who is responsible.
Customize Your Yearbook Marketing Plan
Know your audience. Toastmasters has been preaching this one sentence since 1924 and it’s worked out well for them. Determine who wants what you are selling and why. Below, we’ve literally taken a page from Marketing Unstumped, Treering’s guide to yearbook marketing.
Because the same message will not resonate with everyone, you want to spend time understanding what the message is for students, parents, faculty, and local business owners. Then, go find them.
Identify your best channels to reach each audience section where they live. In other words, go to them. Utilize all the marketing channels you have available to you and evaluate which ones work best for which audience. Possible marketing channels include:
- Staff newsletters
- All-call services
- Parent organization website
- In-school bulletin boards
- All-school events
- School meetings
- School sports games
- School arts events