Whether you have an existing food truck, are expanding your fleet, or are an entrepreneur at the beginning stages of building a food truck, this article is applicable to each of you. The need to have a solid and measurable marketing plan is essential, so following this outline on how to develop a marketing strategy for your food truck is key. Get cozy and let your creative juices flow as we map out some ideas for creating a successful marketing strategy to ensure success on your food truck business ventures!
According to Food Truck Nation’s report, the food truck industry has grown to an estimated $2 billion. Without effective marketing strategies in place, food truck growth would be non-existent. The most effective marketing plans include the following elements:
- Website and Social Media
- Search Engine Optimization
- Email Marketing
Website and Social Media
The first element of how to develop a marketing strategy for your food truck is building a website. In 2019 it is imperative to create, maintain, and optimize a website for your food truck operation. WordPress is a free option for easily building sleek websites that are aesthetically appealing. Many of the templates available on WordPress are ideal for restaurant and food truck businesses and can be created, maintained and updated without any programming skills.
The main reason to build a website is for customers to easily find a business. Building a website for a food truck business allows you to advertise the menu, post the location and hours, and publish contact and catering information. In addition to a website, establishing social media presence is crucial. From Instagram and Twitter to Facebook and YouTube, food truck businesses need to be aware of where customers are hearing about their events. Here are some easy and quick tips to encourage social engagement:
Ask your customers how they heard about your food truck so you are able to track the effectiveness of the social outlets
Encourage social sharing
Add in a few contests to ramp up business
Use the right hashtags and keywords
Keep your posts aesthetically pleasing
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a must when trying to raise the page ranking when someone is searching for a business. For example, if someone is searching for “pizza food trucks in Dallas,” and you are a pizza food truck business in Dallas, you obviously want to be one of the top few to display on the page. Here are a few suggestions for increasing your organic SEO ranking.
#1: Build out your website with optimized keyword content. Again using the Dallas pizza food truck example, make sure you have those keywords displayed throughout your site, along with other searchable terms.
#2: Encourage customers to leave reviews on Google and Yelp.
#3: Update and maintain your Google "My Business" page with not only relevant hours and updated menus but also pictures. Pictures can push your listing higher on the page.
Mobile-cuisine.com offers some insightful information on SEO, mentioned below.
Here’s what you need to know about search engine optimization (taken from Mobile Cuisine):
- If you market your food truck online, SEO is a must. SEO is necessary whenever you want to attract customers to your website, or whenever you want to sell catering services online. SEO also helps your food truck stand out from the competition.
- More mobile searches make SEO more important than ever. To understand how SEO can help your food truck reach customers through their smartphones or computers, think of your own online behavior. When you go to a new store or restaurant, you likely start online with a search engine. Being found on search engines is critical for your food truck business.
- SEO can be a high impact and low cost digital marketing tool. In fact, for most food trucks who have very small marketing budgets, SEO is a low cost way to drive web and foot traffic. Although there are plenty of paid SEO tools and professional firms, you can begin implementing SEO best practices for free.
- Even if your food truck doesn’t have a website, you can still benefit from SEO. If your food truck doesn’t have a website, you can still take steps to help customers find you online. Establish your web presence on business listing directories like Food Truck Reviewz, Yelp and Google. Online business listings are critical for local search engine optimization.
Utilizing email marketing can reap huge benefits. Once you have your weekend or monthly events finalized, send out an email to your followers and notify them of where you’ll be. Email marketing offers a quick way to communicate with your customers, and stay top of mind.
One effective and cost-efficient way to collect emails is to have iPad stations mounted on the food truck where customers can complete a brief survey, enter a drawing, or leave a review providing optimal opportunities to collect email addresses.
Many companies, including MailChimp, offer free subscriptions for email marketing. These have user-friendly templates and allow you to customize using your logo, contact information, links, etc.
One of the most important elements for How to Develop a Marketing Strategy For Your Food Truck is to try different strategies, track the results, adjust, and continue to try other marketing strategies. Find a method that works for your food truck business, which isn’t what always works for everyone else.
If you’d like to continue the conversation with the leading specialty food truck fabricator on ways their customers create a marketing strategy, please feel free. Typically during the design and build phase, APEX Specialty Vehicles has conversations with their customers about utilizing a marketing strategy for optimal results. Are you ready to get started? Begin with APEX’s free quoter tool!