How using your data can take consumers on an engaging interactive journey

This content is produced by a member of The Drum Network, a paid-for membership club for CEOs and their agencies who want to share their expertise and grow their business.

We know that this is the age of content. In many ways brand marketers today are essentially content creators. Recent research has shown that 95% of marketers are now using or considering using a content marketing strategy, but the best in class are not only creating content at an alarming rate online and through social media channels, but they are also taking a much more data-driven approach to their content marketing strategy.

And what’s more using the data that you have in your business, or in your client’s business if you are an agency supplying content services, can really pay off.

Infographics are one way that many organisations aim to simplify and better illustrate the data that they have. You can quickly take your infographics to a whole new level with interactive Story Maps that are easy to embed onto a web page or share on social media.

Esri is the World leading provider of mapping and analysis solutions to many leading organisations enabling them to better understand and visualise their data to make more informeddecisions. In the age of content creation, data visualisation plays an integral part in creating content that is engaging. Esri have developed digital story telling apps, aka Story Maps, that are proving to be highly effective marketing communications tools for brands.

The easy to use, out of the box templates make Story Maps the perfect canvas for creative minds to make visually spectacular and truly engaging content.

Listed below are my top three story maps and what makes them stand out from the crowd.

A SKY Without Stars

This is a Story map that uses the Cascade template. It shares information on why 83% of the world’s population cannot see the stars at night and the best places for amateur astronomers to visit to get a great look at the night sky.

So, what makes it an awesome piece of content? Firstly, the imagery that they have used instantly grabs your attention. It also contains a link to the exact same story in Spanish. If you scroll down you will see this interactive 3D globe / heat map that is easy to explore and understand:

It also contains this swipe map with a slider that reveals the number of stars you should see and what you actually see:

And if that’s not got you deeply engrossed, there is an embedded Flickr map that you can interact with and see people’s photos that are tagged with “astrophotography”

Overall this has some great interactive pieces that make it really stand out.

San Diego Cool

This is a neat Story Map that uses the crowdsourcing template to get people to share cool places in San Diego.

What I love about this content is that there is a clear call to action and it invites people to participate – a brilliant way to engage people in a selfie campaign.

With a fully interactive map and the ability to click on images to see more detail, it’s a truly immersive experience. Embedded on a website/landing page, this could keep you hooked for hours!

Unclimbed – The Story

This Story map takes you on an amazing journey using the map journal template. It is embedded into a webpage and is colour coded and branded to fit the page perfectly.

What I love about this one is that it has an embedded call to action that grabs your attention. When you click on the Enter Contest button you immediately see the form to register without being directed to another landing page.

If you scroll down you will see some 3D interactive maps, embedded videos, images and much more. The ultimate attention grabber has to be the embedded 360 shots that enable you to pan and zoom like you were on the adventure with the crew!

These Story Maps all provide a unique user experience that engaging and hugely inspirational.

If you’d like to find out more about how you can incorporate your data in a Story Map then sign up for our FREE challenge workshop, which we are running in conjunction with Comic Relief in London on Tuesday 17th November. Work alongside the UK’s top creative talent on a real life brief, and get hands on experience using cutting edge mapping technology, to create highly engaging interactive online content. For more information click here.

Shaz Qamar is Marketing Campaign Manager at Esri UK