Everyone knows that Amazon is the most popular website to buy books.
But did you know that book search and book reviews can be a valuable source of data for marketing your expertise?
Consumer reviews tell you what readers found useful about a particular book ... and what they thought was missing. While reviews are by no means a scientific survey, they do give you an idea of what's important to your target audience – and which topics to address in your blog posts, presentations, etc.
For example, let's say you want to write an article aimed at people with ADHD. Here's how to use Amazon book reviews to find out what's important to them:
Search Amazon books for ADHD. The search results are usually sorted by relevance, and most of the titles contain "ADHD."
Now sort the results by popularity. You'll notice that a lot of the titles don't even mention ADHD, but rather the types of problems that people with ADHD tend to have - distractibility, clutter, etc. The fact that these books are popular is a clue that the title grabbed people's attention. If you write an article with a similar title, it may grab your audience's attention as well.
Next, click on some of the books and read the reviews.
Read reviews that received 5 stars. Granted, some of those 5-star reviews are by friends of the author. But if you also look at how many people found a review useful, you can get an idea of what was important to them about this topic.
For example, one reviewer of ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Kohlberg and Nadeau wrote (spelling errors included):
... after reading books and magezines trying to organize my life this one was the best ever! It is so easy to follow with ending notes after each chapter to remind you of the important points in that chapter. It gives diagrams, pictures, and illistrations, everything an ADDer needs in a good book.
The negative 1- and 2-star reviews are also useful. These tell you what the reader found frustrating or lacking.
A reviewer of Delivered from Distraction by Hallowell and Ratey wrote: ...the book is seems to be as disorderly as an ADD brain if you asked me. It rambles on and on with STORIES about ADD people and STORIES about ADD solutions. But there is little in the way of ORDERLY step by step "here's what you should do" stuff.
Just from these two reviews alone, you can see that not only is the content important to people with ADHD, but also how it’s presented.
For your next presentation or writing project, check out the Amazon book reviews on your topic. They are packed with clues to help you craft your message.