Are you a food truck owner? We know you’re busy. We are, too.
That’s why we condensed the food truck marketing plan into easy-to-follow steps so that you can focus on what matters most: running your business and making money!
We’ll discuss how to make marketing plans that work and get your food truck noticed.
But first, let’s talk about the benefits of a great marketing plan: * It can help increase sales * It can build brand awareness * And it can be used as an ongoing strategy to keep up with changes in the marketplace.
As you may know, it’s not easy running a business on wheels – but don’t worry; this guide will help make things easier.
What is a food truck business?
A few years ago, you would have thought of street food vendors when thinking about mobile food options. Now there’s this whole new group called “food trucks” that offer on-to-go ways to get your favorite foods and also provide social interactions for those who eat them!
On the business owner side, they’re flexible with the low investment required compared to restaurants or other traditional businesses.
These days food trucks are popular with millennials and pop cultures, with the addition of social media getting the word out about your food truck easier than the traditional methods.
Some established restaurants use food trucks to get in front of new crowds in different locations. When asked about the best part of owning a food truck one owner said “Being able to see how people react when they eat your food is an amazing experience.
I get so excited watching them smile and seeing their faces light up with enjoyment!”.
So you just bought a food truck. Now What?
With a new food truck popping up in the neighborhood every second day, you must have an effective marketing strategy to stand out from your competitors. Food trucks are competing with each other just like any company would and they will do anything that it takes to make their customers come back for more!
If you want to stand out from the crowd of food trucks that are popping up everywhere, creating a brand story and marketing strategy is more important now than ever.
Branding Is the First Step
The most important part of starting a new business is establishing your brand identity. This means you’ll define who you are as an organization, what tone and style to use for various types of communication, and more.
For any new business, your brand identity is one the most crucial aspects that need to be done right away because it sets up everything else including how people perceive you but also product development decisions like logo design or color choice for example so there’s no time too soon.
Name- A unique word combination that captures the meaning and essence of your brand
Visual identity – This includes your logo and color combinations or any visual aid that represents your brand.
Tagline – A short memorable slogan that represents your brand and is easily recognized by your customers.
Consistent Identity – It’s important to keep your brand consistent through all marketing and social media channels.
Once you have your personal brand and visual graphics figured out then it is time to move on to other pieces of marketing for your food truck business.
So when planning your food truck, be very clear about the audience you are catering to. Understand their likes and dislikes to make sure that they come out of an experience with a positive feeling towards your business.
Knowing where these people hangout is also important so as not miss key opportunities for marketing or driving traffic
Online Food Truck Marketing
A restaurant’s success is largely dependent on its social media marketing style.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter provide a great opportunity to attract thousands of potential customers.
For example on Pinterest (a social networking website) food is the most browsed and pinned content category in general.
Social Media has an undeniable power that can influence people’s choices and decisions if used properly for marketing purposes among restaurants as per National Restaurant Association that 90% of them believe their success largely depends upon its style of dealing with it; this could be highly beneficial when they know how to do so correctly by advertising themselves through proper promotion through Social Medias such as pin-interest etc.
Furthermore using geo-location-specific hashtags and checking in, you can make your posts more visible to a larger audience.
For example, use #foodtrucksorlando or post photos of the truck around recognizable landmarks or buildings.
Here are some great food truck social media accounts that are good to take notes from when building your food truck social media presence.
Adwords & Local SEO
Your restaurant’s online visibility can be increased by optimizing your website for search engines to help you gain more organic traffic. You can use Google Adwords to:
See which keywords people are searching with in order to reach your site
Appear results across multiple locations
There are many factors that can affect what a keyword may cost in an advertisement on Google. Generally, search terms with high competition like restaurants near me could be very expensive.
However, keywords with less competition but more targeted traffic such as Asian restaurants in Tampa might not be quite so pricey.
In order to avoid over-investing or under-investing it’s best to set your own budget at the outset of any campaign and ensure you’re sticking within those limits.
Pro Tip: As a mobile food truck business, one excellent strategy is to use Google Ads. For example, if you are in an area where there are many big corporations and events that need catering services for their employees or guests, then with the right sales approach (e.g., email), it won’t be difficult to turn these leads into large-ticket orders worth thousands of dollars each time.
To be found online, your business should get listed on websites that receive millions of visitors per day.
Your listing can improve the likelihood that you will be discovered by being listed on Google and other popular sites such as Yelp! (a site for reviewing local businesses).
Businesses are often asked to provide pictures, reviews, or testimonials about their services in order to increase positive signals from users who visit these high-authority platforms.
Here is a list of some great places where you could submit:
- yahoo local
- Facebook maps
- google my business
- LinkedIn company directory
Online Ordering Platform.
An online ordering platform these days are the standard for today’s restaurants and food trucks. Very popular with Millenials, and online order platform will help your business with:
- Getting direct orders – no commissions to be paid
- Branding and advertising
- Retaining customers
If you are looking to increase your restaurant marketing efforts, a website is essential.
The quantity of online orders received by restaurants has tripled over the past five years because more people choose to dine at home instead of going out for dinner with friends or family.
A good website can be an effective way for restaurateurs and their customers alike to interact with one another while building relationships that could result in new business opportunities down the line.
Having control over how information about products and services is presented on your own site also gives third-party platforms like Facebook less influence regarding what gets shared publicly through those outlets – not ideal if there’s specific content you want potential diners viewing now rather than later!
To make sure your mobile platform is effective, include a menu that’s always up to date so you can deliver the right items in the right areas at specific times. You should even add an option for customers to pre-order products during busy seasons or days when supplies are running low.
Email & SMS
The cost of reaching out to new customers is far higher than existing ones.
Customers are more likely to buy from a familiar brand, so it’s important for marketers and businesses alike that marketing automation tools be used in order to engage with the audience on both a personal level and an up-to-date basis (e.g., sharing daily updates like discounts or menu additions).
For these campaigns’ messaging needs must be personalized while offers need topically relevant details about your business efforts. Timing for these campaigns is crucial to keep in mind to ensure their effectiveness.
Loyalty programs are nothing new, but with new technology and social media, loyalty programs can be very beneficial for food trucks.
Benefit from loyalty programs because they can help you:
Get the best feedback on your food and service, which will please existing customers.
Reach out to new guests through targeted marketing opportunities like promotions or coupons.
This creates a stronger brand for your restaurant while still keeping costs low!
Loyal customers are more likely to buy food from you than new ones. Food trucks need loyal followers just as much as any other company, and millennials make up a large portion of that demographic group.
44% say they’re more loyal now compared with before while 30% want to sign-up for every loyalty program possible!
Video Content Creation
Your food truck can use video to increase its online presence and get more free exposure. Every year, about 75% of internet traffic comes from videos so many people will see your product when you post it on sites like Facebook or Instagram for example.
You could also shoot alluring footage with your smartphone then edit it later and put the finished product up on YouTube as well!
How to start making videos for your food truck:
- If you’re at an event, go live on Facebook or Instagram and give the world a look.
- Make a cooking video or show behind-the-scenes footage.
- Feature happy customer stories like how people are enjoying their meal from your establishment and are won over by its taste! Entice viewers with this example of why they should become customers too!
- Showcase winners if doing giveaways/contests as well so everyone can see who wins what prizes in real time; maybe even host these contests through social media platforms where users have access to such features (i.e., Twitter).
Utilize local Influencer Marketing
One popular method of marketing your restaurant is to use influential personalities or entities.
These can be chefs, cooking show hosts, and even bloggers who are known for reviewing restaurants in your area.
There are two kinds of influencer marketing: one includes having these individuals promote it on social media channels like Facebook/Twitter while the other involves them actually visiting the establishment as a customer (and promoting this visit).
You can also go the paid route. Influencer marketing is now a popular and cost-effective way to reach potential consumers.
Some examples of influencer marketing include sponsored posts, and testimonials in videos or within reviews, which can be paid for according to the agreed terms with the influencers themselves.
It’s easy to find influencers to contact in your area by searching up #[city]foodie and scrolling through the post of relevant popular influencers in your area.
Social media marketing analytics is vital to keeping your food truck relevant and up-to-date. With the deluge of data from social channels like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram & more pouring in every day it’s important for businesses to stay on top of their game with tools that can provide them with this valuable information quickly.
Social listening lets you know how customers feel about your business so you can respond immediately if necessary while also staying aware of what they want or need as well.
Show Off On Your Blog
Today, more people are using the Internet to find restaurants and make reservations. A blog can help with this process by strengthening your digital reputation, SEO ranking, and ability to build a database for email campaigns.
Not only that but you could also get even more mileage from blogging by promoting yourself on social media sites like Twitter or Facebook!
One great way is publishing posts (by guest authors) such as famous chefs in the area who might have some useful insights into good food trucks around town – maybe they’ll let us know where we should go next time we’re hungry.
Starting a blog allows restaurateurs an outlet online which increases their restaurant’s exposure while letting them showcase all of their delicious dishes at once without having customers come down physically and look over everything first.
Designing, printing, and distributing print ads will be the next action in this mission. Print ads are effective with a more mature audience, they help to build awareness on people’s street of choice for food trucks.
Finally, don’t forget that you can add coupon codes that customers can redeem at your truck or online.
You can capture future customers by embedding a QR code on your print flyers directing them to a SMS enabled landing page.
Offline Food Truck Marketing
When catering a particular lunch, highlight your special dishes and USP on pamphlets, menu cards, and flyers.
These are not just a way of earning revenue but also promoting your restaurant in front of other business clients so occasionally host lunches for all of them to promote services while getting new gigs.
This will be the first step to start generating local word of mouth about your food truck.
There are multiple ways to cross-promotion between food trucks and other businesses. We can keep each other’s flyers, and pamphlets around or try a pop-up at another business’ location during lunchtime.
A great way to promote our brand is by offering free desserts or discount coupons to customers of those businesses as well!
Events are probably the number one way for a food truck to start getting brand recognition.
As you consider what events to attend, make sure they are the right fit for your target audience.
Ask organizers how many people typically show up and take information about their previous gatherings so that you can see if it matches where your business is heading!
Events allow brands to increase brand awareness as well as build relationships through networking opportunities at various locations across a city or town.
There’s no limit on types of events either – there are food festivals, school-based gatherings like Career Fairs & College Nights, holiday-based celebrations (e.g., Christmas/New Year), concerts or art fairs in public spaces, and neighborhood happenings too.
Food Truck Budget Marketing Plan
There are many ways to market a restaurant, and one size does not fit all.
Restaurants have different marketing budgets depending on the type of channel they use for advertising as well as what kind of activity it is.
The National Restaurant Association suggests that restaurants spend about 3% of their total revenue each year on these activities (NRA).
If your total marketing budget constitutes 3% of your monthly revenue, then at least 40% of that, should go into digital marketing.
Really, digital marketing for restaurants is certainly something that any restaurant, regardless of budget, should invest resources into.
To come up with a marketing plan budget, first, decide which of the below-mentioned activities you want to market.
Then assign how much money will go towards each activity and line item in your marketing mix. Total them for the total amount required for this month/quarter’s expenses on marketing.
Keep online and offline elements separate when totaling items from both categories together!
At the end of every quarter or month match planned vs actual expenditures on food truck promotion efforts by comparing receipts against what was initially included as part of this monthly spend (line items).
Adjust course based upon findings–add new promotional tactics if necessary!–and incorporate them into the next iteration(s) accordingly.
Food Truck Marketing Plan Steps
SWOT Analysis & Market Research
A SWOT analysis of a food truck business will help determine the strong points that need to be showcased, any areas in which they may lack or require external support with, and competitor food trucks.
The first step is creating an internal assessment where you examine your current strengths and weaknesses within the company itself before identifying opportunities for growth on both sides (strengths/weaknesses).
Create Customer Persona
To help choose the most appropriate marketing ideas, one should create a profile of their target customers.
They can gather data from this study by using POS and gauging roughly how often they will buy in a given time frame.
Also, keep in mind that some people may be tech-savvy while others might not meet them where they hang out both online and offline.
Market Tactic Selection
In order to determine what marketing tactics would be most effective, identify the platforms your customers access the most.
This will help you prioritize which ones are best for maximizing exposure and creating engagement with potential patrons.
Set Your Marketing Budget
With the availability of many advertising options, it can become easy to overspend your marketing budget.
It’s important to limit how much you use so that what is being used has a greater impact and increases ROI for your company.
To do this successfully, have someone in-house monitor the budget closely with monthly meetings involving either an agency or social media manager depending on who manages these budgets within your organization
Are you ready to get on board with the $800 million food truck industry?
It’s expected that it will grow another 20 percent in 2023.
A food truck marketing plan can help you to identify what your goals are, how much time and money you have available, the current landscape of food trucks in your area or industry niche, and who is already doing well with this type of business model (and why), and whether there’s room for more than one competitor.
Imagine the possibilities and how amazing your food truck business could be with a comprehensive marketing plan.
Instead of trying to figure it all out yourself, let our team take care of everything for you. Contact us today to learn more about what we can do for you!