Mobile Cuisine has covered the food truck industry for years, and over that time we’ve seen lots of marketing trends come and go. Some food truck owners use old school marketing ideas, some are only interested with new technology based marketing options and some are just don’t worry about marketing at all. At the end of the day, they all know the margins they need, and how many sales they need to make payroll and hit goals.
Many of the marketing ideas we’ve shared are too expensive and there is often nobody with enough time to manage them. The marketing ideas below are proven to increase revenue, create positive goodwill in your community, and build food truck brands. The best part is that they’re affordable and easy to execute.
8 Simple Food Trucks Marketing Ideas
Don’t get too caught-up in technology so that you forget what works. You can run a direct mail coupon campaign that costs a under $2,000. Target new residents that have moved into your area in the past 90 days. Over the course of the month, this type of program could attract people that use these coupons to spend over $5,000 at your truck.
Utilize Snapchat Filters
Take advantage of the Snapchat app. This app has filters that are overlay photos or videos that can be branded to share where you are or what you’re up to, within a geofenced area near your food truck. When people snap their #foodie photos or selfies, they can swipe to apply your branded filter. This will introduce your brand to the 10 billion views per day on Snapchat stories.
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.
By tapping into local celebrities with large blogs or social media followings, a food truck can promote their business via this modern word of mouth marketing. Reach out to the top food bloggers in your city through email or social media and invite them in for a special menu item. Let them know you’re interested in being featured on their blog if they enjoy everything. Make sure to take care of them and explain the meal thoroughly.
Social media strategy
You can’t just post your location and expect people to show up because they saw an Instagram post, you actually have to treat social media as a sophisticated marketing medium. Create contests that encourage sharing, recognize guests online so they share, develop a Facebook ad strategy. Consider something like #SelfieSunday, where you have people post selfies, tag your food truck, and then enter to win a discounted meal?
Email is still one of the top ways to communicate with customers and remain top of mind. Maintain a consistent email marketing strategy with a mixture of updates and email specials to keep people clicking and coming to your food truck.
There are plenty of special events you can put on without breaking the bank. These could include Daddy-Daughter events where dads bring daughters to the truck, and you offer a special dinner deal. You could also celebrate your annual anniversary and make this a big deal. Then there are special events such as Taco Tuesday and other similar specials that bring in incremental revenue if strategically structured and promoted.
Give back nights
Hold food truck events where you give back 10 percent of profits for local charities, events, schools, etc. Make sure to alert the local media to get more coverage and exposure.
The Bottom Line
That’s a lot of food truck marketing ideas to wrap your head around, don’t try to do them all next week. You know your customer base better than anyone else, so choose two to three of these ideas that make sense. Test and track them one at a time, and document the systems accordingly. If you do this right, you’ll end up with a marketing playbook to work from moving forward.