Want to run a successful, profitable food truck? Like many other new food service businesses, the failure rate is exceptionally high. However, if done right there can be huge returns. This year alone food trucks are collectively predicted to clear upwards of $2.1 billion, and it’s the ninth straight year of growth for the industry. With the new year right around the corner, now is a great time to make 2018 your most successful with these ten 2018 marketing and branding strategies for food truck vendors.

10 Simple 2018 Marketing And Branding Strategies

Hire A Professional Food Photographer

The first of our 2018 marketing and branding strategies relates to your marketing budget. If you’re going to put money towards marketing collateral in 2018, make it professional photos. Once you have these images, don’t forget to share the photos online. With every post, make sure your number one goal is unveiling pictures so good your customers can almost taste them.

Create A Loyalty Program

Loyalty programs have long been the darlings of successful food trucks. Gamification apps are the 2.0 versions of these longstanding marketing initiatives, making it easy for customers to find your food truck in the apps they’re already using.

The most popular apps include:

  • Belly
  • LevelUp

Not only will these loyalty apps help grow your food truck business, but they will also save them money.

Include Yelp In Your Social Media Strategy

Over the years, Yelp has gained a reputation as the number one Internet rating and review site. This means you’re guaranteed to get reviewed even if you don’t create an account. Make sure you’re listening to and participating in the conversation by responding thoughtfully to all reviews, both positive and negative.

Make sure your profile is complete by adding information such as:

  • Photos
  • Typical operational hours
  • Common Parking Locations
  • Menu
  • Prices
  • Amenities (Wi-Fi/Seating/Phone charging/etc.)

RELATED: 8 Things You May Not Know About Yelp

Respond To Both Positive Press & Negative Reviews

The moment you get a press hit, you should immediately share it with your followers on social media. If you can get your hands on a physical copy, it’s also a great idea to frame it in your truck. Negative online reviews call for timely, polite, and public responses. Always thank customers for their feedback and make an effort to win back their business.

RELATED: Learning How To Deal With Online Ratings And Reviews

Engage With Your Audience

If you really want to make your customers feel special, share the pictures they take and like them on social media. By doing so, it shows how much you appreciate your customers and also adds a personal perspective to your food truck brand. If you decide to share, just make sure you give them credit.

RELATED: Increasing Your Food Truck Social Media Engagement

Know Your Food Truck’s Brand Identity

All effective food truck marketing strategies begin and end with one thing: your target audience. Once you’ve identified them, build your food truck’s brand with them in mind. Every post you publish should engage the consumers who track down your truck week after week.

RELATED: Brand Identity: What Is It And Does Your Food Truck Have One?

Keep Your Most Updated Menu Online

When it comes to decision time, the majority of consumers use online menus to help them select where to eat. It’s critical your food truck menus is easily found on your website and other online platforms. This includes your season menu changes. Don’t forget to include high-quality, mobile-friendly options across multiple sites.

Partner With Delivery Services

In today’s food industry, delivery is getting to the point where it’s a must. You don’t need a dedicated delivery staff to start fulfilling these orders. Consider partnering with popular delivery services such as:

  • Favor
  • Seamless
  • Eat24
  • Delivery.com
  • GrubHub

There are plenty of delivery services food truck vendors can work with. Just make sure your margins are high enough to take that 10 to 15 percent delivery fee.

RELATED: Grubhub Partners with Portland Food Carts to Bring Diners Local Favorites

Show Off Your Food Truck Staff

Don’t keep your staff relegated to your food truck kitchen. Regularly incorporating your employees into your social media content adds a human element to your brand. Let the consumers that follow you meet the chef and feature employee profiles. It can do wonders for your reputation and sets the tone for a friendly, familiar food truck experience.

RELATED: Keeping Your Food Truck Staff Happy

Make Sure Your Online Information Is Correct

The final of our 2018 marketing and branding strategies reminds vendors to make sure to update your online information. It’s no surprise that 89 percent of consumers research a food truck online prior to tracking them down. Now is the time to ensure the information they find is correct. Double check your contact information and other essential information, such as your common parking locations, phone number, and your current menu.

The Bottom Line

Are you ready to turn up the heat and push past the competition next year? Build your business with these ten 2018 marketing and branding strategies.  Do you have any additional marketing and branding strategies? Share your thoughts on this topic in the comment section or social media. Facebook | Twitter