Secrets to an Effective Satellite Media Tour
Don’t get hung up on the fancy jargon. SMT is simply short for Satellite Media Tour, a tactic used to connect brands to consumers via tv or radio. Here’s how an SMT works; radio and tv stations across the country with local morning/noon programs are constantly looking to fill airtime with content that fits their viewer’s interests. These stations either reach out to national media production companies offering SMTs OR production companies will pitch SMT segments to the stations.
The actual “tour” typically features a spokesperson, who will speak on a topic, including your brand, and potentially 2-3 other brands. The tour then allows for the spokesperson to be in one location while being interviewed across multiple stations across the country during a short time span. SMTs are a great way to gain a large number of impressions in a short period of time. So, how can you ensure a successful SMT?
Still not sure what it is? Here’s an example:
For starters, hire the right media production company
Making sure you have the right representation for your brand is KEY. The right production companies will have themed SMT schedules, offering content that stations will want to pick up. In addition, these companies’ contract with professional spokespeople that know how to pitch products. When looking at the company’s schedule, look for talent and segments that fit with your product’s brand and perceived value proposition. For example, if your product is a snack product say like Cheezit’s, a good SMT-themed program would be a Back-To-School tour with a Busy Mom spokesperson.
The media production company is also in charge of booking the SMT. Because SMTs are filling airtime, the market list will fluctuate—adding and dropping stations at the last minute. It’s important to ask the production company for a typical market list to get an idea of where the segment will air. A strategy I like to follow includes making sure at least 4 markets are your key markets where the product can be found. It’s important for you to know there is a possibility that the segment will air in areas where you currently do not sell products.
Once you pick a segmented theme and spokesperson, it’s also very important to ask what other brands will be featured during the media tour. While any production company worth a dime will know not to place a competitor in the same segment, it’s always a good idea to make sure your product is a fit with the other brands.
Prepare for Production Day
Along with picking the right production company, talent, and segment theme, preparing for production day is key to a successful SMT. Your production company should hold pre-SMT calls, connecting you directly with the spokesperson. This is your chance to convey everything about your brand: from product usage and recipe ideas to key product benefits—even your brand’s personality.
Remember, this is the person who will be speaking to millions of viewers about your brand, so having this interaction is important to make sure they represent your brand well. You will need to provide them with on-air copy points. Narrow it down to a few key phrases you want your audience to remember, limiting the branded jargon.
Interact on your social platforms
Once you have your date scheduled and ready to go, it’s time to promote your SMT on your brand’s social media platforms and website. Ask for the video link and photos and post them up on your pages. Because the SMT doesn’t air in all markets, web and social promotion will allow you to reach a larger audience. Also, it creates a buzz around your product especially if your talent is easily recognizable.
SMTs may sound intimidating to start but with the right research, messaging, and talent, you will have a winning combination to drive consumer awareness.
If you have any questions or would like to learn more about setting up a Satellite Media Tour for your CPG food brand or about NewPoint, please reach out to the NewPoint team — interested in food marketing topics? Please visit our “Intel” page or check out my book: Moving Your Brand Up the Food Chain.