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How to Build an Online Business by Bernadette Schwerdt

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Chapter 16Social influencer marketing

Can you really build a business using social influencers only?

That’s what entrepreneurs Nik Mirkovic and Alex Tomic asked when they set up HiSmile, their teeth-whitening dentistry startup. After generating $10 million turnover in just 18 months you could say they have something to smile about.

They credit the glowing results from their teeth-whitening business to just one thing: social-media influencers.

How one Instagram image launched a thousand sales

When Nik Mirkovic and Alex Tomic launched HiSmile in 2014, their initial approach to social media was broad and unfocused. After lacklustre results, they carefully refined their filters and started aiming for the big names with big teeth and an even broader reach. They used Instagram to help them do it.

Instagram has been the game-changer platform for many startups. The right image of the right person with the right product at the right time can be the difference between success and failure.

When Kylie Jenner, part of the Kardashian clan, posted a photo of herself with a HiSmile box to her Instagram account with 76 million followers, the results were immediate.

The post, which includes the hashtag #ad, attracted 1.6 million likes and more than a quarter of a million comments from adoring fans.

‘It’s really just putting your product or your brand where the attention of your target market is,’ Nik says.

He wouldn’t disclose how much Jenner was paid for the endorsement, but says the campaign ...

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