According to IBIS World, “the food truck industry is on track to hit $1.2B and is expected to increase by 2.4% in 2021.” Since you are working with such a huge market, you need to have a plan with how you are going to attract customers to your business. There is no magic formula for growing your business, unfortunately. However, with a well-thought-out food truck marketing strategy and a bit of elbow grease you can create awareness for your business, generate leads, and grow your customer base.
Here are a few of our favorite simple, effective marketing tools.
DETERMINE YOUR NICHE
DO YOUR RESEARCH
Niche is defined by Merriam-Webster as:
1). a place or position suitable for a person or a thing 2). a distinct segment of a market.
Establish where your business fits within the industry and promote the point of difference or niche. What sets your food truck apart from all of the other food trucks out there? This is defined by marketers as positioning.
Positioning yourself in a saturated market can be difficult. And, Statistics show that the average consumer is exposed to more than 10,000 advertisements per day. Therefore, the best way to grab your customers’ attention is through creating a human connection with them. This could be anywhere from asking if they are enjoying their meal or if they need a refill.
Creating a personal connection with your customers lets them know that you see them as a person and not a number. Positive interactions can help with gaining repeat customers for your business.
SCOPE OUT YOUR COMPETITION
The Roaming Hunger is a great resource to find food trucks in your area and see how many competitors there are. Check out your competitors’ website and social media; note how they interact with their customers. Doing so can give you some insight on how to better interact with your customers and lead to some creative inspiration that you can apply to your own food truck marketing strategy.
Maybe your competitors offer a certain promotion or an incentive to get customers to choose them over other food trucks. It doesn’t hurt to do your own research. One important thing to remember is that using the same tactic may not yield the same results. Experiment with different options and evaluate from there.
MAKE SURE YOU ARE HONEST ABOUT YOUR PRODUCT
Marketing sometimes gets a bad rap for making claims about products that are exaggerated or untrue, and doing so can give your brand a bad reputation. Give yourself an honest assessment of your product and brand as a whole. This will provide you with perspective on where your strengths and weaknesses are, how you can improve your product, and which parts of your business are doing well and highlight those areas.
BUILD A CREDIBLE WEBSITE
Websites act as an informative tool for your customers. This is where they come to find out more about your business, what products you offer, and how to contact you. Today, search engines are similar to a phonebook. WordPress, Squarespace, and Weebly make it easy for business owners to create a website unique to them.
Making sure your website uses keywords that people are searching to find various food trucks ensures that your company appears in the search results.
Check out these best practices of web design for restaurants.
JOIN SOCIAL MEDIA
ICYMI—businesses are on social media. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are powerful ways to drive traffic to your website. Creating content such as blogs, freebies, and deals that you can promote increases your website visitors. You can use Facebook and Twitter to inform your customers about what locations your food truck will be parked at from day-to-day. Instagram is essentially your online magazine; you can share photos of your recipes and photos of happy customers—with their permission, of course.There are many Instagram features you can utilize, such as sharing your location, posting stories, and compiling highlights on your profile.
Remember—marketing is NOT sales
Marketing is different from sales—it’s similar to comparing tapas to sushi. While marketing can help you gain more potential customers or leads, the process and desired outcomes are unique.
Marketing is, again, creating your relationship with your customer, building and growing your brand and hopefully generating qualified leads that will eventually buy your product.
Sales is as it sounds—sales.
Asking people to buy your product too fast, without facilitating trust first can scare your customers away.
GET FOOD TRUCK INSURANCE
Food truck insurance accomplishes three things:
- Protects your business in the event of a lawsuit;
- Pegs you as a serious professional, and
- Builds trust with your clients.
Having professional liability insurance for your food truck shows that you invest in your business and take yourself seriously, which translates to your customers that you’ll invest in them.
What are some of your favorite ways to promote your business? Let us know what works for you in the comments!
Learn more about food truck insurance.
Food Liability Insurance Program (FLIP) provides comprehensive coverage designed for food business owners, such as Vendors, caterers, bakers, chefs, and other food providers. Our annual policy is designed to respond in the case of a lawsuit arising out of their business operations. FLIP is proud to a leader within the insurance space and is proud to offer coverage in all 50 states. You can always count on FLIP to keep you covered.
BY LYNDSEY LARSEN
Lyndsey Larsen is the Marketing Manager and writes about business, marketing, entrepreneurship, and insurance.
Lyndsey Larsen is an experienced writer with a background in corporate communications nonprofits, SAAS corporations, and nutraceutical companies. She has previously worked as a journalist for regional and national publications. In her spare time, she enjoys chasing butterflies, rockhounding, and spending time with her two kids in Utah’s mountains or deserts. Find Lyndsey on LinkedIn.