On July 19th, AnyMind Group and MMA Global in Vietnam welcomed over 100 marketers in Vietnam to the event “The 3rd Evolution of Influencer Marketing: The Rise of eSOLs for Digital Commerce” at InterContinental Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City. The event featured several distinguished speakers from AnyMind Group, Arocell, DKT International, GroupM, TikTok, and Samsung, as well as renowned Vietnamese content creator and influencer, Ninh Tito.
Influencer marketing enters a 3rd evolution
To kick off the event, AnyMind Group provided the audience with an overview of the digital commerce and influencer marketing trends in the Asia-Pacific region, including Vietnam. The event marked the transition of influencer marketing into a third evolution.
In the initial evolution of influencer marketing, brands recognized the potential of collaborating with famous celebrities to increase brand visibility. During this stage, it was common to see movie stars or renowned athletes endorsing beauty products, household items, sports gear, and more.
Moving into the second evolution, the influencer marketing industry witnessed the rise of micro-influencers (influencers with a following of 10,000 to 100,000 people). Micro-influencers gained popularity due to their high engagement with end-users. Despite having a smaller following, micro-influencers provided a sense of authenticity, closeness, and trustworthiness.
In the third evolution, influencer marketing converges with digital commerce, focusing on the business outcomes generated by influencer marketing activities. E-commerce has seen significant growth, and new shopping methods like livestream shopping have completely changed customer behavior and the way businesses encourage consumer purchases. Consequently, businesses and brands are now looking to leverage influencers to boost conversion rates and drive sales.
Trends in eSOLs Adoption
During the event, AnyMind Group introduced a new term to the influencer marketing space: eSOLs (e-Selling Opinion Leaders), which plays a crucial role for this 3rd evolution.
eSOLs are defined as individuals or organizations with an online presence, capable of selling or promoting products/services to customers on digital platforms. They are not limited to a single platform and can drive sales across various channels such as social media, livestreams, messaging apps, and more. Additionally, eSOLs can collaborate with brands through revenue-sharing models, commissions, or as retailers for the brand.
At the event, speakers from AnyMind Group also shared how Starbucks at Home utilized eSOLs to increase brand recognition and sales for its premium instant coffee products in Vietnam. Following Starbucks at Home, Samsung became another successful brand by leveraging eSOLs in combination with livestreams and suitable promotions. eSOLs are also seen as a potential strategy for brands looking to enter the Vietnamese market. Speakers from AnyMind Group and Arocell, a Korean cosmetics brand, discussed the development of strategies and plans to maximize the digital commerce ecosystem through eSOLs.
Opportunities and Challenges for Brands and Influencers
Influencer marketing 3.0 and digital commerce bring numerous opportunities for influencers to diversify platforms and reach end-users with product introductions. However, the sheer number of influencers and content every day can make it challenging for audiences to make choices. To become eSOLs, influencers need the ability to choose the right platforms, formats, content, and maintain a high level of credibility in the eyes of consumers.
During the discussion, the speakers also shared the challenges and opportunities that brands must face in the digital commerce era. Opportunities include the rapid growth of the market, the increasing prevalence of mobile devices, and the ability to personalize promotional programs. Additionally, brands can reduce costs while ensuring effective communication, overcome geographical limitations, and easily collect market data to meet rapidly changing customer needs.
However, opportunities always come with challenges. Brands must contend with high cart abandonment rates when customers shop via mobile devices, low online purchasing demand for premium products, and fierce competition from the market.
eSOLs will act as a bridge to help brands overcome challenges in the digital commerce landscape. With their large following and reputation in specific fields, eSOLs are considered experts and have the ability to influence end-users purchasing decisions. The success of eSOLs is measured by the level of interaction and conversion they generate for brands.