Social Media Marketing

Interview with Mandar Marathe

Interview with Mandar Marathe

Mandar Marathe is a Digital Marketing Consultant with cross-functional, hands-on expertise in digital marketing across SEO (Search Engine Optimization), Google Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads and Content Marketing.

Here are some highlights of his career:

✓ Managing Partner & Digital Performance Marketing Head at Briefkase (Digital Marketing Agency for startups & SME’s – Founded in 2013)
✓Professor of Digital Marketing at Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay since 2011
✓ Visiting faculty for Digital Marketing at IIM Sirmaur since 2018
✓ Visiting faculty for Digital Marketing at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai since 2018
✓ SEO, Facebook Advertising, Corporate Lead Trainer at Digital Vidya since 2017
✓ Certified Digital Marketer – Google Ads, Google Analytics, Inbound Marketing (HubSpot), Facebook Ads Blueprint certifications
✓ Published digital marketer on,,



Could you please introduce yourself so that we know more about you? 

Hi, I’m Mandar, a digital marketing consultant and entrepreneur.

It’s been more than 12 years since I started my career as a digital marketer.  

My first job was that of a software engineer at Infosys. In 2006, I moved to the USA to pursue my MBA, seeking a transition from writing code to marketing businesses. Post graduate school, I got a breakthrough at Digitas –  a large digital marketing agency where I learned the ropes of online marketing.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), I got laid off in 2010 when the markets crashed and the global economy was in a recession.  I packed my bags and moved back to Mumbai. 

There is no looking back, ever since.

I joined Reprise Media, an IPG company as their 4th employee in India. As a Director of Client Servicing, I worked with multiple brands – Tata Motors, Aditya Birla Group and  South Africa Tourism to name a few. 

In 2013, I decided to start my own digital marketing agency called Briefkase (the lure of being your own boss)

Since then, I have been a digital marketing consultant to over 100 start-ups & SME’s, helping them to find new customers & grow exponentially through SEO, Google+Facebook+LinkedIn Ads and Content Marketing.

How to tell a story and show it better than ever?

Storytelling and copywriting are two of the top skills a digital marketer must have.

First and foremost, you need to be authentic while telling a story.  Not everyone is perfect – so you should be able to accept your imperfections and put yourself out there.  Yes, you will be judged, but you should not really bother about what other people have to say about you.  As long as you have an authentic story to narrate, people will connect with your experiences.

Second, you need to be relevant.  Some marketers call this as “trend jacking”. See what’s currently trending and try to weave in / connect your story with the current situation.  For example, since everyone is talking about the Coronavirus, you might want to weave in your story of how you are tackling professional and personal life in such a situation.

Finally, you should tell your story in the format that is relevant to specific social media channels. On LinkedIn, static posts (no images) get higher reach, whereas on Instagram or Facebook, videos garner more views. Adapt your story to multiple formats.

What shall we consider in order to write powerful copy in social media? 

Think of talking to a friend who is sitting right besides you. Use simple language, shorter sentences and paragraphs. 

Every story on social media should have 3 components

  1. Hook: The first two sentences that draws user attention
  2. Story: Authentic, relevant content in simple, easy-to-understand language.
  3. Call to action: What is the action you want users to take after they have read your story? How do you want them to engage?

Powerful copy is simple copy.

How to market on Facebook Ads in the era of killer competition? 

When it comes to Facebook Ads, many businesses have started investing here – competition is tough. To be successful at Facebook Ads, you need to have a deep understanding of your target audiences and also be ready to experiment.

What’s worked for our clients w.r.t Facebook Ads

  1. Segment your audiences – Define your buyer persona and segment your audiences. Create 6-7 different segments (device targeting, geographic targeting, gender, age range, custom audiences)
  2. Test multiple creative – Each Ad Set should have a minimum of 3 creative variation – This allows Facebook to test multiple creative and generate optimum results
  3. Use data from Google Analytics – Look at your GA traffic data and use it for targeting your audience on Facebook. Also, have a look at Facebook Analytics to understand your audience profile (This needs FB Pixel setup on your website)

How to market engagingly on LinkedIn? How attract, influence and convert?

For becoming a good LinkedIn marketer, there are 5 focus areas:

  1. Know your target audience i.e. are you a SaaS marketer selling your product to CMO’s / CXO’s? What’s the company size you are targeting? Which geographic area are you serving? Used LinkedIn Search to build your audience persona.
  2. Optimize your profile – Know what keywords your target audiences are using to find you on LinkedIn and use these keywords in your headline, about section, professional experience section.  Make sure you appear approachable on LinkedIn – a good head shot, cover photo and featured section will help you. LinkedIn Premium is a good option to analyse your profile.
  3. Build relevant connections – Adding anyone and everyone to your network is not the right approach to grow your connections. Only add connections that fit your target audience profile.  If you already have a lot of irrelevant connections, its time to weed out these connections.  Having a tighter, related connection profile / network will help you increase reach and engagement for the content you post.
  4. Content – Content is king.  LinkedIn has multiple formats of content – static posts (text), images, video, carousel (multiple images), PDF files etc.  Static posts and video (natively uploaded on LinkedIn) will give you high reach. They always work for me.  Make sure that you are creating a ‘story’ when you are posting on LinkedIn. Also, consistency matters. Be consistent by creating a content plan for LinkedIn.
  5. Outbound / Outreach – Many times you might want to reach out to people on LinkedIn and add them as connections.  Don’t force an agenda. Don’t hard sell. Build a relationship with your target audience and then talk business.

Gen Z and Social Media: What modern digital marketers need to be aware of? 

Modern marketers need to adapt and be agile.

If your target audience is on Tik Tok, you need to have an account on Tik Tok. If you are a B2B marketer, then you need to know the ins and outs of LinkedIn marketing.

Moreover, be open to experiment.  Yesterday Facebook was a rage, today its Tik Tok. Keep up with times and be relevant.

What advice would you give to our readers? 

Always keep learning (develop your skills before you are outdated)

Always keep experimenting (become an early-adopter)

Always keep executing (be hands on).

Finally, I’d like to say “Publish or Perish” – Be a part of the 2-3% marketers who are creating content – Video, Podcast, Stories, Images…unless you don’t publish, you will fail. Think of yourself as a “Media company”.

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Dimitar D.

I take great pleasure in reading and travelling as much as physically possible.
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