Walgreens Deploys Influencers to Tout Its App's Capabilities
Deerfield, Ill. — Walgreens runs more than 25 influencer marketing campaigns a year to support retail or vendor initiatives. For two months beginning in July 2016, the drug chain launched a very successful campaign called #MyWalgreensApp to amplify the ease of use of its mobile app. The campaign drove a 25% lift in new downloads of the app and generated more than 222 million impressions. “Put differently, to buy premium digital display ads delivering equivalent impressions, it would have cost more than $2,300,000,” says Calvin Peters, public relations and digital communications manager, Walgreens Boots Alliance.
Walgreens leverages its network of “VIP influencers,” and for this particular program selected key influencers to “brainstorm content angles” that supported the brand strategy but also ensured that the influencers could stay true to their own personal stories, Peters says. “Danielle Gray [and her ‘The Style & Beauty Doctor” blog], for example, was travelling to Stockholm this summer and spoke to the ease of printing photos directly from her phone for pick up at her local Walgreens before she landed back in the States.”
The campaign strategy focused on three key efficiencies of the Walgreens mobile app: couponing, managing and printing photos, and using mobile pay. The chosen influencers told stories on their blogs with photos and sometimes videos that reflected their experiences with the app. In addition, they and Walgreens itself posted content on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Also supporting the effort was user-generated editorial content in more than 1,000 hyper-local digital and print news outlets including The Sacramento Bee, South Florida Times and Tennessee Tribune. Lastly, VIP influencers who weren’t selected to create content were used to share some of the most engaging content via their social accounts, and there was social ad boosting from influencer channels.
The influencers in the campaign shared relevant and timely examples of how the Walgreens mobile app freed up valuable time in the summer, kept them stocked up and organized for summer vacations and saved them money when back-to-school shopping, Peters says.
Among the specific app functions touted were the “refill by scan” feature that helps shoppers refill prescriptions by scanning a bar code on the medicine bottle to automatically send a refill to the store; QuickPrints photo business, which enables shoppers to send pictures stored on their phones or social sites like Instagram to a store for printing within an hour; and paperless coupons that are selected within the app and added to the user’s loyalty account for redemption at checkout.