You’ve got a truck, now what?
The popularity of starting a food truck has bloomed rapidly over the last few years, and more so than their fixed-location counterparts, a truck’s marketing can be the difference between being the place that people track down and line up for, and the place they visit when nothing else is open. Food trucks are taking on a life of their own as a genuine alternative to catering for big events and weddings, so it’s a great time to capitalise on that and secure a strong presence for the long term.
For most, marketing is the fun part of business where you can let your personality shine and really connect with your customers. From naming and visual identity, to social media competitions and SMS alerts, creating a strong brand and making it easy for customers to keep in touch will mean that, despite the fact you’re on the move, you’ll constantly be on their radar.
To help you on your journey, the team at Nisbets recently created an infographic, “Food Truck Marketing 101” – a must read for anyone looking to grow their mobile food business into one that not only goes to the customers, but brings customers to them.
Breakdown: Food Truck Marketing 101
The name of your Food Truck is the starting point for your overall brand, so take the time to choose wisely. Your logo, website, social media and all other mentions will come from your name.
- Descriptive eg: Burger King
- Evocative: eg: Bounty
- Invented: eg: Fanta
- Acronym: eg: KFC
- Founder: eg: Ben & Jerry’s
- Geographical: eg: Evian
- Lexical: eg: Lord of the Fries
Your branding is the first thing a potential customer will experience. It feeds into all aspects of your business, from your customers and product, to business direction and marketing.
- Define yourself. Who is your target customer? What makes you different? What are your values, mission and company culture?
- Create a visual identity. How do you want to be perceived? Are you gourmet, traditional, modern or fun? This is an opportunity to choose the colours and style which best represent your identity.
- Keep it consistent. All platforms should speak the same message. Your logo, website, social media, menus and truck design should stick to the brand and compliment each other.
- Go back to Step 1 if ever in doubt.
A strong social media presence is paramount to any Food Truck, since your location moves, your online presence should stay deeply rooted! Cover all accounts consistently with the same information, and remember that they should ultimately lead back to your website.
- 53% of people recommend companies and products on Twitter.
- Best for: Updating customers with your location, promoting events, sharing content or new menu items.
- 66% of monthly users check their Facebook daily.
- Best for: Interacting with customers, sharing news, targeting specific groups.
- Over 178 million photos are tagged #food on Instagram
- Best for: Sharing amazing photos of your food, your staff, and any photos from location or events.
Online Review Sites
- 67% of consumers are influenced by online reviews.
- Best for: Feedback from customers and user-generated content.
Testing out different marketing campaigns is a great way to grow brand awareness and expand your customer base - and to see what works for you and what doesn’t.
- Hashtag Campaigns: Create unique, fun and relevant hashtags. Use them yourself and encourage customers to use them too.
- User-Generated Content: Host picture contests, offer discounts for anyone who has left reviews online.
- Create Buzz: Reach out to bloggers & influencers, local publications, radio & TV.
- Fun Specials: Daily, Weekly, Monthly. Limited edition menu items create a sense of excitement that get people tracking you down.
- SMS Alerts: Collect phone numbers and update them with your location.
- Reward Your Followers: With special offers or experiences.
Getting Out There
- Collaborate: With business parks, shopping centres, event companies, bars & pubs.
- Team Up: With other Food Trucks that compliment your cuisine.
- Join: Local Food Trucking communities & websites.
- Embrace: Different events and catering opportunities.
And remember… Enjoy yourself. This is your journey. The road may be long, but you’ll put a smile on many faces and one of them should be yours!