Marketing Your Yearbook- Advice From SPC Yearbooks
The codfish lays ten thousand eggs,
The homely hen lays one.
The codfish never cackles
To tell you what she’s done—
And so we scorn the codfish
While the humble hen we prize.
It only goes to show you
That it pays to advertise!
Making your yearbook is only half of the story. Sure it’s a very important part of the process , but there is no point putting effort into making a great yearbook, if you have no one to buy them off you.
I work in the marketing department at The School Planner Company, and so I thought I could give you some top tips on how to market and advertise your yearbooks, and I’m not going to suggest you buy a £60 marketing book, like my uni did!
Usually, you’d start by identifying your target audience, but you should really know who that is, you have spent almost every day of the last few years with them. So, you know what you’re selling (your yearbooks) and who you’re selling to (your classmates) now how do you get the message across to them?
Pretty much every school we work with, put up posters. Advertising posters have been around for years, and if it ain’t broke…
We highly recommend using posters, put them up in places with the most footfall, and just see the effects, You’re bound to have a significant amount of interest in no time.
Marketeers have used poster advertising since forever, we think since the jurassic period, but we can’t be sure. And you still see them today, literally everywhere you go. They just work.
We actually provide free templates for marketing posters on our website, which you can design and we’ll print them for free! Get in touch @SPCYearbooks, or pop us an online chat for more info. Oh and don’t forget to ask permission before you start blue tacking them everywhere!
Digital marketing is huge, and its growing everyday. Now we assume you don’t have the budget to run a google adwords campaign, and to be honest, it really wouldn’t be necessary. And believe me, it’s not much fun. But we’re pretty sure you have Facebook, or Twitter? Instagram? Tumblr? Whichever social media site you favour, they can all be really useful.
Chances are, you’re friends with a lot of your classmates on Facebook. So start a Yearbook page, invite everyone to like it, and spread the word!
Being in school, you are in a really advantageous position when it comes to marketing. Everyone you want to sell to, turns up at the same building every single day. My job, and that of marketeers all over the country, would be a million times easier if that was true for us too!
You might find that it’s beneficial to ask your teacher if you can have a couple minutes at the start of an assembly to talk to your year group about the yearbook. Make sure to keep it brief, people generally can’t keep their concentration for all that long, and make it fun, or funny. This would also be a great opportunity to brush up on your presentation skills!
This is another tactic that you would really need to ask permission for! But if your teachers, or school secretary is cool with it, you might want to think about sending out a series of group emails to everyone in your year, telling them about the yearbook and reminding them of content deadlines. If you have an online student planner, ask if you can add a notification.
We send out marketing emails all the time, they can be really effective, and are a great way to make sure that everyone you want to buy a yearbook gets the message.
If you watched the sitcom ‘The Crazy One’s you might have already heard of ‘The Spectacular’. This is a great marketing technique, but it takes a lot of preparation, and hard work, and again you will probably need permission. But what is it? Well in The Crazy Ones, Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy The Vampire Slayer) organises a huge tea fountain to market a company’s new brand of tea. I know this sounds boring and rubbish, but give it a go, it’s a great TV show. And if you can’t quite get your head around a fountain of tea, think flashmobs, or the guy that jumped from space sponsored by Red Bull. Spectacular moments, that attract a lot of attention. It doesn’t even need to be related to your product, just make sure that people know who organised it, and its a brilliant way to raise interest.
Snakes On A Plane
Now, this isn’t the technical name for the marketing technique we are about to suggest. It’s actually called ‘crowd sourcing’ or something, and in many industries it is actually a really controversial method of marketing which often attracts bad press. But you shouldn’t have to worry about that, and if you do it well, like the producers of blockbuster hit, and arguably the greatest movie of all time ‘Snakes On A Plane’ did, it can be really successful.
In case you didn’t pick up on the sarcasm just then, Snakes On A Plane was a bad movie, I mean, truly awful . The kind of flick that would usually go straight to video, watched by a few thousand people and never spoken of again. But that wasn’t the case- it actually made it to the cinema, and was shown all over the world.
‘But how?’ I hear you cry!
Before the movie was even filmed, the marketing team behind it had a genius idea. They knew their product was a bit rubbish, but they needed it to be shown in movie theatres to recoup the pretty huge budget. So they started their marketing campaign long before the film was released, whilst it was still in production in fact. Using the internet, they targeted forums, letting people know of this film they were working on. This in itself isn’t rare, or special, but what these guys did, was outsource the plot. They asked members of the public to determine what happens in the movie. They had votes, and debates, and wrote most of the movie according to what the public wanted.
This meant that before the film was even released there were millions of people across America who felt a sense of ownership over it, who felt like they played a part in making the movie. In fact if you buy the DVD version of the film, every single contributor is given a writing credit, we wouldn’t bother watching the credits though, they’re almost as long as the movie itself! So when the producers went to the powers that be, the people who decide whether or not a film will be shown in theatres, they were able to guarantee that millions of people would buy a ticket, regardless of how bad it is, because millions of people wrote it. And if you had a hand in writing a movie, you’d want to go see it, right?
And the same applies to yearbooks. On a slightly smaller scale, but still. Sure your yearbook committee will be doing most of the work, but why not outsource some of it? Why not ask the rest of your year group to give suggestions, some page ideas, or design ideas. That way, before you’ve even made the yearbook, your customers are going to want to buy it, because they had a part in making it!
Do it your way
These are just our suggestions on how to market your yearbook! You have to find out what works for you. But whatever you do, we’d love to hear about it! Send us your advertising efforts on Facebook or Twitter!