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Customer Story: Allies Group

May 23rd, 2023 by Alina Ionescu
Issuu platform elements mixed with Allies Group publications featuring business men and lifestyle objects

Empowering businesses to achieve remarkable results through innovative content is the driving force behind Allies Group, a full-service marketing agency with a strong focus on delivering exceptional results. With an expert team, the company thrives on a unique combination of experience, knowledge, and a rock-solid content marketing strategy.

As part of our Customer Story series, we had an insightful chat with David Stubbs, the Creative Director at Allies Group. David shared how Issuu enables them to elevate their content marketing strategy and boost their clients' online presence. Through the creation, publication, and promotion of immersive and captivating digital content, Allies Group effectively engages target audiences and consistently exceeds their clients' expectations.

Welcome, David! Can you tell us how Allies Group started?

Our journey began in 2015 as two separate companies – Remember Media and Digital Allies. Remember Media focused on creative work and publishing, while Digital Allies specialized in digital marketing and website development. In 2021, we merged to become a full-service marketing communications business, encompassing digital marketing, PR, communications, creative work, and websites. Many of our team members have backgrounds in publishing, which is where our connection with Issuu originates. Publishing was actually where I first started my career as well.

What type of content do you share most often?

We own and produce our own magazine, Luxe, which you'll see featured throughout our portfolio. It's a high-end luxury lifestyle magazine created by our team of journalists and designers, and it features a lot of advertisers.

Our initial business plan for Remember Media involved partnering with high-end clients, such as luxury hotels, and we continue to maintain strong relationships with many of them today. For example, we work with Rockliffe Hall, a five-star hotel with a spa and golf course in the northeast of England. In addition to featuring luxury lifestyle content, we also produce business publications like Forum, which is created for the company Entrepreneurs’ Forum. All the interviews for Forum are conducted by our in-house journalists. Our diverse range of publications is primarily hosted on Issuu, with the majority of all our publishing content being available on the platform.

Can you give us more details about your team’s content creation process?

Our team is smaller than most would think, but we've discovered that a small tight-knit team can still go a long way. When we approach a client with a proposal, we first conduct an immersion session to understand their needs, target market, and desired content. For instance, with Rockliffe, we create a quarterly publication for their clientele, ensuring that the content is fresh, informative, and engaging.

Our content team generates the written content while collaborating with our digital team to maximize its reach. As for my role, I focus on creating and delivering the strategic vision for our clients. We take the project from concept to artwork and then extend its reach with Issuu.

What features do you use the most within Issuu?

We primarily use Issuu's Embed feature for our clients since they often lack the necessary software to showcase their magazines on their website. We use this feature for a wide range of clients in our portfolio, which then allows them to share it further with their customers and audience. This helps their content reach a lot more people than what is possible with print.

We also make extensive use of Links, as we work with many advertisers and need to direct readers to a lot of different websites. Additionally, we embed Videos into publications whenever available to make them more engaging. During the pandemic lockdowns, when print was impractical, Issuu enabled us to continue publishing digital content for clients in the education sector, who needed to share prospectuses and graduation brochures. The page-turning effect was ideal for these projects, and we were able to incorporate interactive elements that made our content dynamic and more enjoyable. Articles is another feature we use for content that targets specific audience segments. For instance, when a certain topic is timely for one of our target audiences, we might choose to share individual articles rather than the entire magazine.

What does the embedding process look like for you and your clients?

It varies; some clients want access to Issuu to do it themselves, but most prefer for us to send them the embed code. In this case, we handle the background work and provide them with the code, which they can then add to their website with a few simple clicks. We always ensure the content is uploaded correctly and looks good on their website, and Issuu helps make the process as simple as possible for our clients.

Do you have a process for organizing the content you produce?

We use Issuu’s Stacks for better portfolio organization, which makes it easier for clients to find specific titles and materials. Initially, it was me who organized the content. However, now it could be anyone on the team, depending on who the task falls to. We've been using Stacks for several years, serving as an archive for all our issues, both for various clients and our own internal publications. It’s great!

Do you print your magazines as well, or are they exclusively digital?

Out of our entire portfolio, around 95% of the magazines are printed. Issuu enables us to create digital versions of those, elevating our clients’ brand image and content by making the magazines available online, too. We want the digital offering to complement our print titles.

Do you track your publications’ performance?

Yes, we review the performance after each release using the Statistics feature on Issuu. Let's take Luxe as an example, which is a bi-monthly publication. After each issue is released, both on Issuu and in physical format, we take a few weeks to watch and evaluate its performance. We look for any spikes in audience engagement and analyze what's working well and what isn’t. Issuu’s Statistics helps us understand how many people are viewing our content online and provides valuable insights into our magazine's digital reach.

Most of the numbers we gather are primarily for internal use, as they help drive our commercial efforts. For client projects, such as Rockliffe, we report back on the analytics after the publication has been live for a few weeks, providing them with insights on its performance. Since many clients are starting from scratch, they're interested in understanding how their audience is engaging with the content. Reporting these numbers is an essential aspect of our process, ensuring our clients stay informed about the effectiveness of their content.

What are the main reasons you would recommend Issuu to someone else?

Issuu enables us to create a strong digital presence for our content. This helps us share our work effectively across multiple channels and reach more of our target audiences.

Another thing that sets Issuu apart is the platform’s ease of use. We researched various page-turning software solutions and interactive PDF makers before finding Issuu to be the most user-friendly. Instead of spending time on a tedious process, anyone can simply upload a PDF with Issuu’s platform and watch their document be instantly transformed into an interactive digital flipbook. Issuu is the best choice for creating a powerful digital presence in just a few clicks.

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