With all the yearbook marketing ideas out there, we wouldn’t blame you if you skipped the one that often has the biggest payoff for yearbook teams: changing your marketing for different groups of students.
Sure, it’s great to do the usual stuff, like getting mentioned in the school newsletter, grabbing a spot on the morning announcements, and sending out emails. That’s good bang for your buck. But if you’re struggling to get your students’ ears and eyeballs on your yearbook marketing (something that can be especially difficult at the high school level), it’s probably because you’re trying to talk to too many of them at once.
If that’s you, stop broadcasting your “buy-the-yearbook” message to the widest possible audience and start creating a bunch of different messages for a bunch of different groups.
Inside this post, we’ll tell you when you should rethink your yearbook marketing strategy, why personalizing your yearbook marketing is an important thing to try, and how you can do it at any point in the school year.
When to Rethink Your Yearbook Marketing
Adding a more personal touch to your yearbook marketing is a bit of work.
Think about it: One morning announcement with the same message for everybody, or four to six different sets of flyers and posters with different messages for different groups? Yeah, that first one is going to take a little bit less time and effort.
So here’s the most important piece of advice: If you’re already selling a ton of yearbooks, and you’re really happy with your sales, you probably don’t need to rethink your approach to marketing the yearbook.
But if you’re struggling to build a yearbook culture at your school, just can’t seem to get anyone other than, say, seniors to buy the yearbook, or want to make a last-ditch effort to increase sales before your order deadline, you’ll want to at least consider a more personal approach.
Why This Yearbook Marketing Idea Is Worth Trying
The big reason you should try this marketing approach is a simple one. It really works.
In one version of personalized yearbook marketing, which we covered before, a yearbook adviser for an elementary school used these flyers to boost sales by 50%. We’re not suggesting you go to the same lengths, but you should take the overarching idea. And that’s this: If you can tap into a person’s motivations for buying a yearbook, you stand a far better shot of having them buy a yearbook.
Added bonus? This is about the hottest trend among marketing professionals, so this approach to marketing your yearbook has a bit of real-world applicability to it.
How to Run With This Targeted Yearbook Marketing Idea
When it comes to taking a more personal approach with your yearbook marketing, you’ll want to take three steps: pick your audience, understand their motivations, and shape and promote your message.
This requires a little bit of time, a little bit of research, and a little bit of creativity. Doing it, though, pays off in big ways (remember that yearbook flyer we mentioned earlier?).
Here’s a deeper dive into each of the steps:
Step #1: Pick Your Audiences
You don’t need to target every group on campus. (In fact, the whole point of this yearbook marketing idea is that you don’t.)
To get started, look at past and current yearbook sales and see if you can identify gaps in your sales: Do most of your sales come from seniors rather than freshmen? Are athletes buying less frequently than non-athletes?
Pick one or two groups of students where you have an opportunity to improve their purchase rates.
Step #2: Understand Their Motivations
We mentioned earlier that you stand a far better shot of having your students buy yearbooks if you can tap into the factors that would motivate them to do so.
That being the case, it’s pretty key that you understand what would make students want to buy a yearbook.
The easiest way to learn what those things are is to ask your students.
Is it more pictures of them? Better coverage of their sports teams? More focus on underclassmen? A belief that no one buys the yearbook, anyway?
If you ask your groups open-ended questions about what they like and don’t like about the yearbook — along with open-ended questions about what would make them buy a yearbook — you’ll learn a lot more about how you need to promote the book to your select audiences.
Step #3: Shape and Promote Your Message
You don’t need to be a certified psychologist to do the above, but you should know just enough to know how you can make an offer they can’t refuse. Or at least refuse to consider.
If you learn, for instance, that underclassmen don’t feel like the yearbook reflects their experience or adequately covers their year, you’ll want to shape your message to reflect that — and then you’ll want to promote it in the best possible way to reach that group.
Promotion can come in a bunch of different forms: flyers, posters in hallways, phone calls to parents, Twitter DMs, word of mouth…whatever you think will get their attention and get them to buy a book. It’s worth trying a few, but keep your efforts focused in a single place long enough to learn if it pays off.
If it does, stick with it.
But whatever you do, don’t keep struggling with your yearbook marketing because you’re trying to talk to too many people at once. Use this idea and target your message to more specific groups.