Social Media Practice Assignment #1

Social Media
Practice Assignment #1

Competitor Research

Welcome to Social Media Marketing Practice Assignment #1

These practice assignments are different from your 1-on-1 real work experience assignments which will come after you are finished with your training videos as stated on our website. These practice assignments are designed to help you immediately get practice implementing what you’ve just learned in smaller, more manageable chunks rather than just expecting you to know how to set up a full campaign all at once. These practice assignments are strategically broken up into several parts and in step-by-step format so that we can tackle every aspect of setting up an effective campaign from the research phase all the way to the creation phase. By doing each of these practice assignments, you will now know how to get your digital marketing campaigns up and going in an effective and strategic way. 

Doing these practice assignments are of course optional, but they are encouraged as this extra practice now will help you create better marketing campaigns for the 1-on-1 real work experience part of the program. Instructions on how to do each task, where to save your work, and examples so you can compare what you came up with vs. what I came up with so that you can assess how you did on this practice assignment will all be provided below. Please note that although I provide examples of the marketing content that I came up with in some of the practice assignments, there is no exact right way that your content should look like when it comes to marketing. So, you cannot expect your results to look exactly like mine. What is important is that you are implementing what I’ve taught you in the training videos and in the below practice assignment as this is all meant to help you create the best marketing campaigns possible. 


Hypothetical Company For This Assignment: 
As with all practice assignments, you can use your own company, a company you’d like to work for, a made-up company in an industry you’re interested in, or you can use the hypothetical made-up Digital Marketing Agency I talk about below when completing each practice assignment. If you’re unsure which company to use for these practice assignments, using the made-up Digital Marketing Agency may be easiest for learning purposes as you’ll be able to compare and contrast your marketing content with the examples I provide which will be for a Digital Marketing Agency. The key thing is that you should use the same company throughout all of your practice assignments as the practice work you do on 1 practice assignment will be carried over and used in later practice assignments.  I’m going to use a Digital Marketing Agency as our hypothetical company that we are trying to grow via Digital Marketing. I want you to assume that they specifically focus on Social Media Marketing, Email Marketing, PPC Marketing and SEO Marketing. 
Insert Your Work In the Below Link To Stay Organized
  • Social Media Practice Assignment Spreadsheet ↗︎
    Make a copy of this by going to “File” then selecting “Make a copy” so that you can make edits. You will be using this document in your other Social Media Practice Assignments. You can put your findings for this assignment under the “Assignment #1: Competitor Analysis” tab

Start of the Assignment

As mentioned in the program, you never want to create marketing content from scratch as there is no purpose in reinventing the wheel and taking a ton of time to figure out what your target audience likes and doesn’t like. Instead, you ALWAYS want to first look at what 5-10 of your competitors are doing and what’s working well for them. Afterall, if they are your competitors, then that means they have the same target audience as you. And, if they have the same target audience as you, then that means, if certain posts of theirs is getting a lot of engagement and working well for them, well, then that means if you create similar posts to these, then they should also perform well since you already know for a fact that this target audience likes this sort of stuff. 

I can’t stress the importance of this enough. Creating content and getting your content in front of people takes a good amount of time and consistency. There is no point in starting from scratch and spending months creating content just to try and figure out what content your target audience likes as this would be a huge waste of time when you can just look at your competitors and get those types of answers immediately so you can right away start creating content that your target audience for sure likes. 

So, for this practice assignment, we are going to do some competitor research so that we can see what type of content our competitors are posting on Instagram. To keep things organized, you can download the above “Social Media Practice Assignment Spreadsheet” and put all your findings under the “Assignment #1: Competitor Analysis” tab so you can keep all of your findings in 1 place. 

Step 1: How do we find our competitors?

If you already know exactly who your competitors are:

  • then you can just search their name in the Instagram search bar 


If you don’t know who your competitors are:

  • You can go about this 3 ways: 
      1. Search within Instagram (Preferred method):
        • Go to the search bar and type in “Digital Marketing Agency”.
        • Then click Accounts so you can see all of the different Digital Marketing Agency accounts
        • From there, you’ll probably see a good amount of accounts. Go through them and pick 5-10 that have a good amount of posts and a good amount of followers as this indicates that they are pretty active and they are doing pretty well on social media (after all, there’s no point in following competitors who aren’t doing well). 

      2. Search Google
        • You’ll typically only go this route if you aren’t seeing much come up within Instagram’s platform which typically isn’t the case. The thing that isn’t good about going this route is, just because these companies are showing up in Google doesn’t mean that they are good on Social Media. Remember, the whole purpose of us finding our competitors for Social Media is so that we can see what is working well when it comes to social media so that we can do similar things. By finding them on Google, this doesn’t mean that these companies are spending much time on Social Media so they very well may not be good companies to emulate when it comes to our social media marketing.
        • Nonetheless, if you need to resort to using Google to find competitors, you can put “Digital Marketing Agency” in Google and then you’ll get a list of companies that show up.
        • From here, you can either go to their website and see if they have their social media links there or simply copy and paste their name into Instagram’s search bar which should have their social media link pop up.
        • Then, see if they have a good amount of posts and a strong following. If they don’t, then this is not a company you should add to your spreadsheet (linked above). If they do, then add them as they can be great to learn from. 

      3. Search Upwork.com or Fiverr.com
        • These are platforms where Freelancers and/or Service-based Agencies list their businesses for people to hire them.
        • You’ll typically only go this route if you aren’t seeing much come up within Instagram’s platform which typically isn’t the case and you aren’t seeing much come up on Google as well. The thing that isn’t good about going this route is, just because these companies are showing up in Upwork/Fiverr doesn’t mean that they are good on Social Media. Remember, the whole purpose of us finding our competitors for Social Media is so that we can see what is working well when it comes to social media marketing so that we can do similar things. By finding them on Upwork or Fiverr, this doesn’t mean that these companies are spending much time on Social Media so they very well may not be good companies to emulate when it comes to our social media marketing.
        • Nonetheless, if you need to resort to using Upwork or Fiverr to find competitors, you can put “Digital Marketing Agency” in Upwork and/or Fiverr and then you’ll get a list of companies that show up.
        • From here, you can either go to their website and see if they have their social media links there or simply copy and paste their name into Instagram’s search bar which should have their social media link pop up if they have one.
        • Then, see if they have a good amount of posts and a strong following. If they don’t, then this is not a company you should add to your spreadsheet (linked above). If they do, then add them as they can be great to learn from.
Step 2: Gathering Important Information From Your Competitors' Profile
When you are on their profile, you’ll want to pay attention to a few key things:
  1. Their Bio Description
    • How do they convey what they do?
    • Do they state a Unique Selling Proposition (USP) (something special about them such as stats, guarantee etc.)? If so, what is it?
    • Do they have a CTA directing people somewhere? 
    • If you click their link-in-bio, what links show up on that landing page?
    • What topics of content are performing well?
      • Posting content about the topics your target audience cares about is one of the most important things you can do to grow your following.
  2. What types of content are performing well (images, video)?
    • What hashtags are they using?
    • What Call To Actions (CTA’s) are they using a lot?
  3. What types of content are they posting in their Stories (you’ll need to follow them to see this)?
    • As we’ll get into later, posting Stories is a key way to build a community and grow your following.
Step 3: Insert your findings into your Social Media Practice Assignment Spreadsheet (linked above)

Please note that you can do this exact same process for every social media platform that you want to be on as sometimes, the type of content that works on 1 platform, doesn’t always work on another so it’s good to see what’s working on each platform that you want to be on. 

You are now done with your Competitor Analysis when it comes to Social Media Marketing. By doing this, you now should have a good idea of: 

  1. What your Bio should sound like.
  2. What links you should have on your landing page when someone clicks your link-in-bio.
  3. What type of content topics and formats should work well for your target audience. 


Bonus Note:
One other thing you can do to stay super intune within your industry is to create a new Instagram account for the sole purpose of monitoring your competition. With this new account, only follow “Digital Marketing Agency” and these types of topics so that when you log into this account, you are more or less only seeing this type of content. If you follow these accounts from your personal account, you may not see a ton of Digital Marketing Agency content as that content is fighting to be seen against all the other accounts you follow. So, creating a separate Instagram account for this purpose can make it much easier on you to easily see this Digital Marketing Agency content each and every day. 

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