The ultimate guide to yearbook marketing: How to make your yearbook a sell-out success

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Assemble yearbook committee! It’s that time of year. You’ve been working around the clock to get your yearbook design looking incredible and now it’s time to get it into the hands of students and their families. But have you thought about how you’re going to market your project?

Between the buzz of events, exams and competitions it can be difficult to get the attention you need to generate sales for your yearbook. In this article I’m going to run you through a customized yearbook marketing plan you can use to cut through the noise and promote your yearbook for sell-out success.

If you’ve never run a marketing campaign or need some handy design tips to get your visual documents up to scratch, don’t worry, we’ll cover that too!

So let’s get to it.

01. Define your mission and values

If you want your yearbook marketing campaign to succeed the first thing to figure out is how you can give value to your customers. The more goodwill you can provide, the more powerfully your message will resonate with your audience. Here’s a sample list of values your yearbook campaign might aim towards:

  • Celebrate the achievements of students at an important time in their life
  • Become a treasured book that students will love to look back on in years to come
  • Preserve memories of friendships and events
  • Be a reflection of the high quality of education at your school
  • Show your school’s sense of community

Use these values, or any others specific to your school or class, to influence your marketing copywriting and create a consistent tone of voice throughout your campaign.

Special tip

It’s very easy to get carried away and forget about your values after a few weeks. Create a poster and pin it in your meeting room. Keeping an eye on them is crucial at any step of the journey.

Below is an editable template you can use for that: Yellow Laptop Photo Classroom Expectation Poster.

02. Promote your yearbook on social media

Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are the most popular social media sites for schools. If your school already has one of these accounts – awesome. Promote your content here.

If not, it’s time to set one up. Students and parents are active on social media every day so the goal for promoting your yearbook on social media is engagement.

Let’s look at some easy-to-implement ideas for promoting your yearbook sales on social media.

  • Update your Facebook cover photo

Create a custom banner for Facebook using this Explore Brush Script Facebook Cover.

Does your school’s Facebook page have lots of followers? Remind your fans that your yearbook is available for sale by creating a cover photo to promote it. Get inspiration for your Facebook cover or design your cover for free using a template for quick and easy professional results.

Design tips: Include a strong call to action and make sure your text is clearly legible. One way to do this is to use light text over a dark background or place your text in clear white space. Keep your branding consistent – use photos or graphics from your yearbook for a cohesive look.

  • Create a Facebook album with photos from your yearbook

A great way to get people excited about your yearbook is to give them a sneak peek of what they can expect in your yearbook.

Sacred Heart College in Perth, Australia, shared this album with memories from their graduates from 2015

Sacred Heart College in Perth, Australia, shared this album with memories from their graduates from 2015

Tag your students in the photos and promote your yearbook in the image captions. Here are a few caption ideas you could use:

> “An awesome photo showing the moment the Year 12s called it quits with a pie fight! See more in the 2015 yearbook. Order it now: [link]”

> “Year 12 [Student’s name] was awarded the National Science Prize earlier this year. Well done [student’s name]! Celebrate the achievements with the class of 2019’s yearbook. Order now: [link]”

> How good was this outing to the beach? More awesome memories in this year’s yearbook. Order now: [link]”

  • Post a variety of content to promote your yearbook

> Memes

Use humour in your social media marketing and share a meme. Encourage your fans to pre-order their yearbook by adding a link in the caption to send them to your checkout.

Yearbook memes

Memes are a humourous way to promote your yearbook.

> Photo collages

Photos that spark emotions will attract high levels of engagement on social media. Show off the highlights of the year using a photo collage.

Use a grid to design your photo collage in Canva. Try this template: Bordered Art Workstation Photo Collage

You can place your images directly in the collage or you could add a dark filter over your images and overlay text. This makes for a unique and emotive social media post that’s likely to garner shared on Facebook, Twitter or even instagram.

As always, don’t forget to tag any students you feature.

> Quote graphics

Graduation is a time to reflect on the old and aspire for the new. Sharing inspiring quote graphics can really help to drum up enthusiasm for your yearbook. Use a caption like this: “An exciting time for the class of 2019! Treasure the memories forever with our awesome yearbook. Order yours now: [link].”

Inspiring quotes are highly sharable. Try these templates on Canva: Motivational Quote Poster and Pink Sunrise Photo Quote Poster.

Check out this list of 40 memorable graduation quotes to inspire your quote graphics. Design them yourself or check out inspiring quotes on Pinterest.

  • Run competitions or giveaways

Competitions are a great way to generate buzz for your yearbook by boosting engagement on social media. Here are a few ideas you could try:

> Run a photo sharing competition

Giving away a couple of yearbooks for free can help you massively increase your overall sales. One idea you could try is to run a competition asking students to “tag” their favourite memory of the year with a hashtag of your choice – for their chance to win a free book. For example, you could ask students to post their photos to instagram and tag #winmyyearbook #[nameofschool]2019

Photo competition on Instagram

Run a photo competition on Instagram with popular hashtags.

Doing this means hundreds of students will be promoting the yearbook on your behalf as well as generating buzz around your book.

> Run a photo caption contest

Here’s how to run a photo caption contest. Pick an amusing, interesting or intriguing photo from your yearbook and post it on your Facebook. Give instructions that ask your fans to come up with the best caption to match the photo. The most original entry wins a free yearbook—and your post gets massive reach.

For more ideas on awesome contests you can run, check out this article from Wishpond.

  • Share a video promoting your yearbook

Need an awesome project for your media class? Get your students involved by creating a video you can share on social media. This is a great way to celebrate the unique personalities of your graduating class. When you share your video on social media, make sure you tag the people who feature or helped make it. This will help increase your reach and encourage them to help you promote it.

Check out Riverwatch School’s yearbook marketing video to inspire your own:

03. Send an email to parents

Emails are an effective way of reaching parents and making sure they don’t miss the memo to pre-order a yearbook. Keep your email simple and make sure you include a link to the pre-order page.

To go a little further, check out these 5 awesome pro tips from Dotmailer. You’ll learn how to write relevant and engaging email content so that your emails are opened and acted on.

Email Dotmailer

Special tip

Want parents to love your emails? Have a look at our email header templates.

Grab everyone’s attention with this bright yellow email header by Canva: Yellow Independence Day Greeting Email Header.

Telemarketing: do not hesitate to give the parents a call. Many businesses use telemarketing as a fast and effective way to generate sales. Some students don’t buy yearbooks, but that doesn’t mean their parents aren’t interested in buying. They will be impressed that someone cares enough to call.

04. Create posters and flyers to share around the school

Create print marketing materials to share around your school. You could place your posters in classrooms, above water fountains, in the school gym, the library, bathrooms or just about anywhere you know your students visit regularly. You can also hand out your flyers at parent/ teacher meetings and school events.

Here are some design tips for creating your print marketing materials from our blog:

Top tips for designing flyers: – Pick a color scheme and use it consistently – Emphasise your call to action with large title text – Don’t overcomplicate your flyer with too many images, shapes or icons

Top tips for designing posters: – Create a point of focus with text or images – Experiment with repetition and shapes for interesting compositions – Use images to evoke emotion

Have you sold your school portraits yet? Another great piece of print marketing collateral is a flyer you can staple to your photo order form.

Or why not try a creative photo strip you can hand out at school assemblies and other events.

05. Make the most of your school’s marketing tools

  • Place an ad in your school newsletter

Does your school have a weekly newsletter? If so, this is a great document that’s read by both parents and students. Design an ad promoting your yearbook and feature it in the weeks before your order needs to be placed.

  • Announce your yearbook sales over your school PA or community radio station

Get the word out about your yearbook by broadcasting your announcement via PA or radio. This will ensure all students hear the news regardless of where they are.

  • Place an ad on your school’s website

Parents and students regularly check the school website for news and updates. Take advantage of this traffic by placing a banner ad on the homepage.

Place a banner call to action on your school’s website. Try this Green Box and Photography Leaderboard on Canva:

Make sure you include a clear call to action and add a link that redirects to your pre order page.

06. Get creative around campus

As well as displaying your posters around your school campus here are some creative examples of yearbook marketing:

  • Print out your favourite photos and string them around trees on your oval
  • Incorporate humor into your marketing with creative wall murals
  • Create tearable posters with links to your pre order page
  • Create a display with your yearbook highlights
  • Set up a booth at information nights and events

This is a great opportunity to distribute your flyers and create a personal point of contact for your sales efforts. Generate even more sales by getting a member of your yearbook committee to have a laptop at your booth so people can order their yearbooks on the spot.

07. Free tools and resources to run a successful marketing campaign

Now you have a selection of marketing ideas to choose from, it’s time to start planning. You don’t need a huge budget to run a successful marketing campaign. Here are my favourite free resources for you to use to kick-start your campaign.

Canva. Check out free templates for posters, social media graphics, flyers, banners and more.

Our blog. Need some help getting your visual documents up to scratch? Our blog is packed with all the tips and inspiration you need to start designing like a professional.

Trello. Trello is an awesome project management tool that allows you to set deadlines, allocate tasks to different members of your team, plan your campaign goals and more.

Social Media Examiner. Look no further than this awesome publication for tips and advice for running successful social media campaigns.

Pinterest. Need inspiration for a social media campaign or poster design? Search just about anything on Pinterest to get the best curated collection of images on the web.

Use this checklist to start promoting your yearbook today

You’ve put in the hard work creating a yearbook you can be proud of and now it’s time boost your sales and perhaps even break your school’s record for the number of yearbooks sold.

Create a checklist of the following items and complete all of these activities to make sure both students and parents have been targeted in your marketing campaign.

  1. Update your banner image on Facebook and Twitter with a graphic promoting your yearbook sales.
  2. Create Facebook albums with photos from your yearbook.
  3. Post a variety of sharable visual content on social media, such as inspirational quote graphics and memes.
  4. Run competitions and giveaways on social media.
  5. Get your students to create a video promoting your yearbook and share it across all of your social channels.
  6. Send an email to parents reminding them order their yearbook.
  7. Create posters and flyers to spread around your school.
  8. Get creative with on-campus advertising such as murals, installations and displays.
  9. Make an announcement on your school’s PA or community radio station.
  10. Send out reminders in your school newsletter.
  11. Call your students' parents and remind them to order a yearbook.
  12. Add a banner ad to your school website

The yearbooks you create now will be treasured for years to come. Make this year your school’s best year yet and follow this marketing guideline to sell more yearbooks than ever before.

Good luck!

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