9 Actionable Methods to Promote Your Food & Drink App

Alex Danchenko

Co-founder, Reteno

November 9, 2022

If you think that developing a food & drink app is a challenging process, try marketing one. There are dozens of competitors in most locations, creating extra obstacles for your promotion.

Read on to learn more about food & drink app marketing, promotion ideas, and planning the whole process. You’ll get the knowledge to overcome those challenges and skyrocket your application!

Why Food & Drink Apps Are So Popular Today

While people have always seen the comfort of using food delivery services, the COVID-19 pandemic boosted a home-based lifestyle. This led to people studying and working from home, shopping online, and avoiding visiting crowded places. Delivery services appeared to be in the perfect time to grow.

The online food delivery segment is expected to reach $323.3 bn by the end of 2020, growing at a CAGR of 7.6%. The numbers keep constantly increasing, showing that there is still room for income in this industry.

App Marketing Plan for Food & Drink Apps

Gathering a large audience requires a thorough marketing plan for an app in your industry. Follow these 9 steps to get a better solution than your competitors.

9 steps to promote your mobile application
  1. Conduct Comprehensive Analysis

Although there are many well-known food & drink apps like McDonald’s or Uber Eats, you should still start by analyzing each competitor in detail. Having all the information gathered in one file will help you see the best way to market your software.

The analysis includes making a list of:

  • Apps that work in your target location;
  • Available features;
  • Marketing strategy and advertising style;
  • Customer reviews;
  • Pricing.

You must also understand your target audience. In the food & drink industry, you will most likely share the same audience with your competitors. This simplifies the creation of user portraits, helping you gather data faster by using social media and reviews. 

  1. Audience Segmentation

Segmenting your audience is essential to promote your app successfully. It’s the only method to structure your customer information in a comprehensive way, seeing both the big picture and small details simultaneously.

There are two ways to structure an audience:

  • General data: age, gender, occupation, income, family status, etc.;
  • Behavioral data: decision-making data like needs, buying habits, etc.

While you may want to stick to the first part because it is easier, behavioral segmentation is practically the only way to maximize your marketing. It gives you the actual data behind each choice, helping you understand the real triggers people have.

Reteno provides a detailed and user-friendly solution for working with segments. Our solution helps you design segments of all kinds, seamlessly visualizing important data to make your work easier.

  1. Create a Strong USP

Imagine yourself as a user. You see a new food application, but it is absolutely identical to the software you already use. The first thing that’ll cross your mind would be, “Why should I try it if it’s the same?”.

A unique selling proposition is what makes you different. There are various app promotion ideas here:

  • Delivery in less than 30 minutes;
  • 24/7 service availability;
  • A gift with each order, and others.

Your USP must be based on your client’s needs and your business’s goals. For example, if you aim to cover a high-income audience, then you might want to provide delivery services from restaurants or other expensive venues. Put yourself in your user’s shoes and think of the features that would attract you most.

  1. Develop Your Marketing

A complete app marketing plan involves covering all possible channels to reach out to your clients everywhere. It is essential to constantly reappear in the audience’s view sight to make them remember your brand.

Some of the most frequent channels include:

  • Social media: a must-have for any service. You must regularly publish content that’s related to your business and shares your values.
  • Blogging: a way to cover organic traffic by answering frequent questions, providing industry expertise, and making informative content.
  • Email marketing: a cost-effective way to keep an omnichannel marketing strategy. It’s a great option to catch up with a warm lead.
  • Tone of Voice: the way your brand looks and sounds. People must recognize your brand by only reading a few lines of text.

This requires immense investments in both time and money. However, the results of such thorough marketing campaigns usually pay off. All you need is a professional marketer and a convenient platform like Reteno to support your promotional activities.

  1. Mobile Push Notifications

Data shows that push notifications boost app engagement by 88%. The tool is a great option to engage all users who downloaded your app, keeping them updated in various aspects.

For example, you can send:

  • Special promotions and discounts;
  • New product releases;
  • News, ads, and others.

With Reteno’s platform, you can easily create and send push notifications at any time. There is a detailed guide that covers all the steps from A to Z, ensuring you don’t need deep technical knowledge to use the tool.

  1. In-App Messaging

25% of applications are only used once after being installed. That’s why it is necessary to apply all means possible to make users open your app more frequently.

In-app messages are similar to push notifications, but they only appear inside the application. These are very context-sensitive messages that are capable of enhancing a user’s experience while using the software. They are most effective with active audiences, keeping them engaged with your app even more.

In-App Messaging

Creating in-app messages is relatively easy. You should set the right triggers for it to appear, compose the text and images, and ensure the message provides value to the user. It could be a special promotion or a reminder — it’s up to you.

  1. Optimize Your App’s Listing

Your mobile app will most likely be listed in the Play Market and App Store. However, simply adding the application for downloading isn’t enough. It must have a comprehensive description that would help users find your software.

First of all, you must create a description that:

  • Explains the app’s benefits and features;
  • Shows unique advantages;
  • Includes keywords that users type to find an app.

Additionally, you must add at least several images that show how your app works. These can be edited screenshots of the user interface or anything else that would draw attention. For example, McDonald’s uses 5 images for their Android application. 

Proper optimization will reduce your marketing costs by increasing the organic audience flow. That’s why you shouldn’t neglect this option.

  1. Create a Reward System

Some companies promote reward systems within their applications. The same McDonald’s promotes its application by providing users with mobile app-only coupons for discounts, freebies, and other benefits for customers. The options are unlimited.

Here are some ideas for a reward system in your app:

  • Bonuses or cashback per each order;
  • Coupons, discounts, and special promotions;
  • Referral systems with gifts per each invited friend;
  • Merchandise and gifts for activity.

You can have a look at how market giants like Starbucks or KFC use loyalty programs to keep their clients engaged. Their experience can help you shape an approach that will definitely grow your business.

  1. Ask for Feedback

Conducting user surveys and asking for feedback is standard practice for all food & drink applications. Any bit of information from your target audience will help you shape the software into a user-friendly product that provides the ultimate experience.

Some users may not be that willing to spend their time filling in surveys, so you can motivate them by:

  • Offering bonuses for providing feedback;
  • Making giveaways among users who left a review;
  • Rewarding users for reporting bugs and errors.

The more feedback you get, the easier it becomes to build software everyone likes. You might have your own vision, but the clients are the ones who actually determine your app’s growth. That’s why you must value their opinions and use them for the best.

Examples of Marketing Campaigns from Well-Known Food & Drink Brands

We have gathered several examples of famous brands to help you learn how to promote your mobile app better. Consider these as some of the best practices in the industry.

  1. Rocket

Rocket is an international food delivery app with over 1 million downloads. The company wanted to improve its marketing efforts when its client base became too overwhelming. As each customer group requires an individual approach, Rocket decided to take action.

Reteno collaborated with Rocket to implement deep segmentation and develop personalized push notifications based on a client’s preferences and purchase history. The primary goals were to restore inactive users, get more paying customers, and grow sales.

Our solution helped Rocket reach an ROI of 152%, an AOV of 16%, an LTV of 12%, and an average $5 profit per each $1 invested. The applied retention strategies help the company keep on growing these numbers each month.

  1. Taco Bell

Taco Bell is an American company that focuses on selling Mexican food. Each year this brand serves over 2 billion customers, covering audiences of each kind.

The company wanted to grow its sales and engage more millennials and Gen Z customers as they appeared to be the dominating user base. Taco Bell’s marketing is based on:

  • Effective social media usage with mouth-watering photos, contests, and event-based content;
  • Usage of user-generated content like photos, blog posts, and videos;
  • Colorful GIFs and filters for Snapchat.

Taco Bell knows its audience well due to detailed segmentation and analysis. The company uses strategies that work best for its clients, making itself a trend on social media.

  1. KFC

Everyone has heard of KFC, the American fast-food restaurant that operates globally. It is ranked among the 15 most popular fast-food chains in the US, showing that it’s got quite an effective marketing strategy.

Here are some key takeaways from KFC’s marketing experience:

  • Attracting influencers in Hong Kong by adding Instagrammable photo zones;
  • Selling extracted chicken bones in Japan for customers to use in ramen and hot pots, as these dishes are very popular in the country;
  • Gifting a Colonel Sanders bearskin rug as a reward in a creativity contest, making the prize crazy and memorable.

The company’s goal is to take risks and experiment in different areas to provide relevant strategies for each customer group. As we can see in the rankings, this seems to be working out pretty great for this food and beverage app. 

Final Thoughts

Promoting food and drink apps requires applying omnichannel marketing to cover multiple areas simultaneously, constantly reminding users about your existence and staying in the flow. You must know your audience well enough to understand what might trigger their attention. The best practices gathered in this article are your ticket to effective marketing.

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