Earlier this year, Goodreads created the “Ford Audiobook Club,” a collaboration with the Amazon Media Group, Amazon-owned Audible.com and Ford, which wanted to reach women between 25 and 45 who listened to audiobooks.
Goodreads looked at its trending data to identify books on the cusp of being big that would resonate with Ford’s target audience. Their first selection was “#GIRLBOSS,” by fashion entrepreneur Sophie Amoruso. The author would join readers for a discussion of the book at the end of the month.
Display media on Amazon and Goodreads drove people to a microsite, where they were encouraged to add the book to the “want to read” list in order to trigger a free audiobook download and join the book club.
Adding a book to a “want to read” list creates a cascading social effect, since a reader’s friends can see picks and add the books themselves. Users can opt to post such information on Facebook; Goodreads was among the launch partners of Facebook Open Graph.
Goodreads sent targeted emails about the Ford Audiobook Club to people who had expressed interest in “#GIRLBOSS.”
The microsite attracted 100,000 unique users during the three-month campaign, which featured a different book each month. More than 8,000 members took advantage of the audiobook club giveaway.
Goodreads’ Data For Book Publishers
Campaigns for books (or movies and TV shows based on books) focus on activating core fans and finding new readers.
“We’ve gotten really good at helping accelerate amplify success of titles publishers launch,” said Goodreads CEO and founder Otis Chandler. “We’ve started advising publishers to do two book giveaways as part of their launch campaigns. One giveaway three months before launch and another just before the book comes out.”
Publishers can jump-start promotions via book giveaways to garner early reviews. “There’s a significant difference from buying clicks on other sites and the social activity on Goodreads,” Chandler said. “If you get someone to rate a book or write a review, that’s going to be on [the site] forever. A click disappears.”
Books by popular authors or movies based on titles offer opportunities to reactivate people who already have raised their hand for content. For the upcoming release of the film “Wild,” based on Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Goodreads is running display ads to the 300,000 people who have read Strayed’s book as well as those interested in related genres.
Besides targeting visitors with display ads, Goodreads reaches out to selected readers with its “personal selection email.”
People who have read a book and rated it three stars or more, or who have put it on their “want to read” shelf, receive an email alert about a movie based on a book they read or a new work from an author they’ve enjoyed.
Because readers take actions within the site – clicking on book ads that lead them to a book page, where they mark a book “want to read” or click offsite to buy – Goodreads approaches a closed loop between advertising and action.
“We can track how many people are adding a book on a daily basis, and we can show them spikes in how many people are adding a book to their ‘want to read’ shelf, and reviewing and rating books,” Creechan said, adding that Goodreads as a 90% renewal rate among advertisers that invest in the platform.