Food trucks stands, and other mobile formats are hot right now. However, it’s a crowded market in many regions, and by its nature, a mobile food business struggles with visibility and connecting with customers in ways that permanent location-based food businesses do not.
Marketing should always be rooted in sound strategy. To build your marketing plan, start by establishing a detailed profile of your customers. This will help you know how and where to connect with them.
Social media offers enormous reach, and online marketing efforts can be filtered by location in many cases. Don’t try to be active everywhere or you’ll spend more time marketing than you do create and selling your product, but do pick a handful of channels where your target customers spend time and establish an active, engaging presence there.
Establish a clear brand and integrate it across all possible channels. Your brand should be clearly communicated visually in your temporary locations on equipment and packaging, and online. Mobile food businesses tend toward fun, light and memorable brands. Often, a pun or element of humor connects well. Your brand might focus on a specific food offering or something distinctive about you specifically, or something regional or local. A clear brand makes it easier for customers to identify and remember you.
Use your website and social media presence to consistently communicate where you’ll be, both in advance and on the day. This teaches customers how and where to go about finding you. However, your social media offers a much greater opportunity than simple location sharing.
Use it to communicate your brand and engage customers. Encourage customers to connect on social media by running contests for a free menu item or other prizes. When they’re sharing their enjoyment of your food and brand, your brand is getting spread to a wider audience.
You can also take photos and videos of your product and people enjoying it (with their consent). The video, in particular, is excellent for extending reach. Take people behind the scenes, and make them feel like insiders; inform and entertain, and tell stories. Video creation used to be expensive and require expert skills, but apps and online tools have transformed the ability of small businesses to create amazing video content. Learn how to make your own animation and create a custom video that engages your customers and spreads your brand online.
Marketing your mobile food business is an ongoing effort, but you can extend the effort you put in by using the power of social to carry your brand further than you can achieve on your own. Start with a clear marketing plan that identifies your customers so that you can strategically target them with branding, social media engagement and video content. Run contests and encourage online sharing to spread your brand organically over a wider pool of potential customers. Use video content and create custom animations to get the attention of potential customers and re-engage existing customers. It’s easier and more rewarding than you think.
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