A NATSO member reached out to us this week for advice on spreading the word to drivers that the location is still open with quick, hot food and open showers. Darren Schulte, NATSO’s vice president, membership, and I brainstormed on the best ways to accomplish this goal.
Here are our ideas:
Place an ad online. In addition to load boards, there are several companies that offer advertising and reach the professional driver community. We’ve linked to their advertising information below:
It is always important that your online presence is up-to-date, but it is especially important now. Make sure your Google Business account, AllStays, Yelp and Tripadvisor all note that you are open with hot food to go.
Post a message on your website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts letting your customers know that you are open. A carefully worded Facebook ad can be an effective way to reach your fans and their friends.
Google campaigns can be a very effective, relatively inexpensive way to reach customers. There are three options:
- Google My Business. If you haven’t already done so, claim your Google Business account for your location. I would recommend creating a post and creating an ad. Make sure your hours are up to date.
- Good Adwords Campaign. A Google adwords campaign allows your message to show when potential customers search Google and, most importantly, Google Maps.
- Good Remarketing Campaign. A Google remarketing campaign allows you to show an ad to those that search using certain keywords and are in a certain geographical area as well as display the ad if they have visited your website.
I’d be happy to help walk any member through how to set up these types of Google advertising campaigns. Reach out! (703) 739-8570 or email@example.com.
If you are a member of a marketing group, they have many resources for connecting with professional drivers such as using their loyalty messaging feature.
Food Thoughts. We’ve heard from several NATSO members that they are having food trucks in their lots, especially if they have limited food offerings. Food trucks allow drivers to walk up, which of course is something they can’t do at a QSR drive through. Also, ideally the food truck is marketing their location to their customers, extending your reach.
While practicing social distancing, you could also ask drivers while they are fueling if you can get them hot food. You should be able to make everything within 20 minutes while they fuel. (Be sure to read How Do I Adapt From Dine-In Service To Carry-Out/Delivery Only? for more foodservice tips.)
Billboards are also a good way to get drivers’ attention. See How to Use Billboards to Drive Your Travel Center's Profits Up for more billboard advice.
Am I missing anything? Tell me more in the comments. We look forward to learning from your experiences.
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