DJ and Influencer Ralph Felix on Public Figurehood
As influencer marketing trends continue to gather steam, many brands are finding success through the use of micro-influencers.
The category of micro-influencers contains content creators with between 1k and 100k follower counts, making it a wide spectrum with lots of opportunities for engagement. In fact, both Markerly and HelloSociety have found that micro-influencers tend to have more dedicated and energetic followings than their higher-count peers. Musician, world traveler, and influencer Ralph Felix took a break recently to speak with CROWD about his experience as a social media figure. Hailing from the Netherlands, Felix captivates nearly 11,000 followers on Instagram with both his music and beautifully curated photo documentation of his global tours.
In collaboration with SDJM, his new track, The Heat (I Wanna Dance With Somebody) is currently sweeping Spotify, Soundcloud, and Youtube. The track made its way into the Top 100 of the European Border Breakers charts. While he traveled through Brooklyn in anticipation of the new song, we asked him about what it’s like to be both an artist and an influencer.
How did your social media influencer career develop alongside your music career?
Although I’m an an artist first, I realized how important it is to brand yourself because of my wife’s career (Rebecca Laurey, full time blogger/influencer). That gave me new insights on how to develop myself as an influencer too, and use social media to the advantage of my music career. I have always helped Rebecca out from day one so I learned a lot along the way.
Which social media platforms do you prefer, and what are their benefits in terms of outreach?
My main focus right now is on the Instagram platform. Although the organic outreach is being regulated, it still gives me a lot of room to play and express myself in the content that I want to share. I love the Instagram Stories feature which actually almost gives me more engagement than posting on my original feed.
What are the main benefits of using social platforms to promote your passions, your work, and your brand?
What I love about using social platforms is the fact that it lets you have direct contact with your fans and followers. In a split second you can share your thoughts, products and ideas and get immediate feedback from your audience. The recent developments regarding analytics and insights gives me a great view of the engagement I am getting, or losing for that matter.
What are some of the most important things you've learned about promotion and branding on social media?
It needs to be simple, look good and be easy to digest for your audience-- unfortunately people just don’t have the time for complicated campaigns in the scene where I work in. The amount of data and information people consume nowadays keeps growing and it is harder and harder to break through the masses. Simple and effective content is what works best for me.
What are two things you wish people knew about being a public figure/influencer?
Being a public figure/ influencer means a lot of hard work and dedication. I know that from the outside life looks amazing and absolutely flawless, but building towards a good business takes a lot of effort. We need to constantly create new content and manage our businesses on a daily basis, and with also being a DJ and music producer I personally really have to put in the hours to keep both projects afloat.
Think twice about what you say or comment to someone. I feel the internet has become a place where people just react first and think later, be aware that most of the people that you follow actually read their comments and have feelings too!
How important is it to have a team backing you as a social media influencer?
I don’t think it is absolutely necessary to have a team backing you up from the start of your career, although it’s pretty great to have someone around you who knows how to take a good pic. However if things really start to pick up, there is just no escape from having a good management team or agent to rep you as a talent. From that point it is important that you can solely focus on creating the best possible content and let your manager or agent take care of client relations.
What is the main benefit of social media influencing over traditional marketing?
Traditional marketing has become less and less relevant over the years. The main benefit of social media influencing is that it is a more direct and effective way of marketing and reaching an audience. Within one click the audience can choose what they want to follow and unfollow. In that way marketing is directly tailored to the needs of the consumer, it’s more accessible and easier to grasp usually.
Where do you think you as an influencer will be in five years time?
Unfortunately that is very hard to say as the industry keeps changing very fast year by year. It’s a relatively new industry that keeps learning and is adapting to new needs every day and so are the influencers that come with it. I still hope to keep my audience informed on what I do and be in touch with them along the way in a few years!
What apps do you use, if any, to keep track of your various campaigns and accounts?
As a creative mind and content creator I try not to focus on analytics too much, so therefore I dont use any apps to keep track of my campaigns. I do use the build-in stats that Instagram, Facebook and Spotify give me as an artist.
From the beginning of your influencer career to today, what do you consider your largest overall accomplishment?
Creating great content for people to enjoy I would say, that is what this is all about!
What do you believe is the future of influencer marketing?
We need to find a way to bypass the big platforms that regulate and filter our content. At this point a lot amazing content is not being served to the right audience because of algorithms that in my opinion just don't work. We need to create a climate where we, the content creators, cut out the middleman and go straight to the audience so we become less dependent of Instagram and Facebook who are trying to sell our content to our own audience that we worked hard to get. I believe going back to independent content serving is key at this point.
What are some of the mistakes new influencers tend to make?
I see a lot of the same type/style of content being posted nowadays. Try to be original, follow your own road to success and don’t copy too much of what other people are doing, otherwise you will never stand out and cut through the masses.
How does your social media influencing presence allow you to flex your creativity?
For me it is all about finding the right balance about what I like to post and what my followers like to see and engage with. So creativity-wise there are definitely boundaries, however I do feel you can educate your audience to a certain extent.
Reaching out to consumers through their favorite musician may seem like a risk, but as Ralph Felix points out, marketing with micro-influencers allows brands to tailor their campaigns directly to the needs and interests of their target demographic. With a more direct link through their consumers’ interests and an ongoing connection with an artist, marketers can keep their content as fresh and relevant as possible. We cast talent like Ralph, who can be found on Instagram as ralphfelixdj, and others by matching not only their aesthetic to a brand but their audience analytics for the best ROI. Go to CROWD. for more details on our Influencer Marketing services, or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.