With over 14 billion downloads of apps for Apple devices so far, it’s not surprising that companies are looking seriously at how apps could be used as part of their corporate communications strategy.
At the #truleeds unconference last week, Dave Martin (AllTheTopBananas) used his iPad to show me the US PepsiCo app which they’ve developed. It’s been available in the States since late January, and will be launched here in the UK within a fortnight.
And I thought it was excellent.
Click to enlargeIt’s a recruitment app, and it includes video , blog posts and tweets, so the visitor can find out more about PepsiCo; and it is possible to interact with the company from within the app – tweeting, for example.
There is also – crucially – a job search feature. This search can be done by keyword (e.g. ‘manager’); there’s a map showing where the current job vacancies are; and the visitor can set up alerts to get notification of new jobs based on the chosen keywords.
Found the job for you? For the Pepsico app, the visitor expresses interest and is then emailed a link to apply (routing them to the central application system). Other companies enable application right from within the app itself.
The content for the app is taken from the corporate site (though I imagine you could create app-specific content), and auto-updates: so it doesn’t necessarily create an additional hungry mouth calling for more content.
And these apps can be integrated with your applicant tracking system. If the visitor has already registered, then they will be able to log in to see the status of their application and make any necessary updates to their details.
Thinking that no-one would ever find your app? Obviously you’d advertise it on your corporate site, just as Pepsico do (the page shown above is available from their main Careers navigation) but it would also be findable via the iStore / apps-search functions. Plus, just as your site currently ‘sniffs’ to learn what device your visitor is using, to present them with tailored content (it does do that, doesn’t it?), if they are on an iPhone/iPad, then they could be presented with notification that the app exists, and the opportunity to download it.
Naturally, the company can see statistics about what the visitors are doing with their app. And it seems to work: Pepsico have filled 12 posts through the app already.
AllTheTopBananas have created 35 apps for job boards so far, and 40 for corporates. There have been 550,000 downloads of their apps to date, so there’s clearly a demand, and a growing one:
- by 2013, there will be more internet access from mobile devices than from desktops.
- Google searches conducted on a mobile device show different results than those conducted on a desktop: for those searchers using a mobile device, mobile optimised sites are presented first.
- And interestingly, the top keywords for job searches using these apps are: manager, driver, warehouse. It isn’t just white-collar job seekers using these tools.
So if you aren’t working on optimising your site for mobile – at least, and possibly offering mobile content via an app as well – then you’re at risk of falling behind, no matter who you are trying to attract.