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Apr 19 Influencer Marketing Insights from the Team at Big Lots

As a leading influencer marketing agency, the team at Carusele is proud to help brands leverage strategic partnerships to drive remarkable results. In a recent interview, our colleagues at Ignite Social Media sat down with Josh Chaney, the Public Relations and Influencer Marketing Lead at Big Lots, to go behind the scenes of the retailer's thriving influencer program.

The insights from this conversation offer valuable lessons for brands of all sizes looking to harness the power of influencer marketing. Let's dive into some of the key takeaways.



Scaling Influencer Campaigns with Impressive Results

One of the most striking aspects of Big Lots' influencer strategy is the sheer scale of the program which, in full disclosure, we work on with our partners at Ignite. In 2022 alone, the brand and Carusele worked with over 100 influencers, generating an astounding 168 million true view impressions and maintaining an impressive engagement rate of over 9.5%.

This activity level is significant, with Big Lots running influencer campaigns in an incredible 44 out of the 52 weeks of the year. For 2023, the brand has taken its efforts to the next level by organizing its program around key product sets and seasonally relevant moments, complemented by an "always-on" ambassador program.

Measuring the True Impact of Influencer Partnerships

Recognizing the importance of quantifying the impact of their influencer investments, our collective Big Lots team has implemented a comprehensive measurement strategy. Beyond tracking traditional KPIs like impressions, engagement rates, and sentiment, they also take a comparative approach, running head-to-head tests between influencer-driven content and their other social ads.

This data-driven approach has allowed Big Lots to measure the incremental return on investment and truly understand the impact of their influencer partnerships. They also track metrics like CPM, cost per click, orders placed, and conversion rates to paint a complete picture of their program's effectiveness. The results have been extremely positive, with the influencer content consistently outperforming the brand's traditional social ads.

Authentically Highlighting Big Lots' Unique Value Proposition

At the heart of Big Lots' influencer strategy is a clear and compelling brand positioning - they are "America's original discount home store," laser-focused on delivering off-price value to their customers. This unique value proposition comes to life through partnerships with a diverse array of influencers, from deal-seekers to home decor experts.

By empowering these creators to showcase the brand's extensive furniture and home goods offerings, Big Lots is able to surprise and delight their audiences with the level of style and affordability their products provide. Importantly, the brand also taps into the "treasure hunt" mentality that many shoppers associate with discount retail, leveraging influencers to showcase the thrill of uncovering fantastic bargains.

Embracing Content Variety and Authenticity

While video content has historically been the best performer for Big Lots' influencer campaigns, the brand has found success in mixing up its content formats. It's seeing a resurgence of static imagery performing well in its organic social feeds, and it continues to utilize a diverse array of post types, including in-feed images, stories, reels, TikToks, and blog posts.

Underlying the success of these varied content formats is a steadfast commitment to authenticity. Big Lots empowers its influencers to create content that is true to their individual styles and resonates with their unique audiences. This approach, combined with the brand's focus on bringing its value proposition to life, has resulted in highly engaging and effective influencer content.

Reaching New Audiences and Shifting Perceptions

One of the most significant benefits of Big Lots' influencer program has been its ability to reach new and younger audiences. While the brand's core customer is generally female and 40+, their organic influencer posts have skewed toward the 18-34 age demographic.

This has allowed Big Lots to introduce its brand and offerings to a younger generation of consumers, many of whom may have had outdated perceptions of what shopping at the retailer is like. By showcasing the brand's stylish, high-quality, and affordable home goods, the influencer content has helped to shift these perceptions and drive broader awareness and consideration.

To learn more about the specific strategies, insights, and results that have propelled Big Lots' influencer marketing program to new heights, be sure to read the full article on the Ignite Social Media blog. As a leading influencer marketing agency, the team at Carusele is always eager to share these kinds of inspiring success stories and the valuable lessons they offer.

If we can help your brand with influencer marketing, please use the form below to contact us.