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What Have You Given Your Readers Lately?

urban-outfitters-free-musicValue.

Consumers, readers, customers — everyone wants them and the battle for their attention keeps getting tougher. To win this game, it comes down to value: who is best “paying” people for their time and loyalty.

As a business owner and as a blog owner, I am all too aware of the need to offer value to my customers and my readers. But the reality is — it isn’t always that easy. Balancing the bottom line, competing with larger companies and sites, and coming up with creative, new ideas can be challenging to say the least.

So when a company does it “right,” I stop and take notice.

Yesterday, a friend of mine, Greg Wacks from Spreecast.com, directed me to Urban Outfitters to take advantage of their free downloadable iTunes playlists. I looked twice at him through our skype windows, “What??? Urban Outfitters has free downloadable music?”

Greg assured me that not only did they have free downloadable music, but it was very cool. He sent me the link and I jumped over to find out what I had been missing…

urban-outfitters-free-music-downloads

And I wasn’t even going over there for their products…

“Wait!” you say, “You aren’t going to buy anything, you are just taking their free stuff.” Ah, but no. I didn’t buy anything today, but I found a site that has tons to offer and that I will return to regularly. Eventually, I will be buying.

While I am not fond of Urban Outfitters’ navigation and site design, and their sliding home page makes me a bit dizzy, (but that could be because it is 2am and I have been staring at my screen for the last ten hours straight,) I am blown away by how much value Urban Outfitters has packed into their site.

They have found creative ways to engage their visitors in their “Community” section, featuring a blog with fascinating images and posts, and they are effectively using a full range of social networking platforms, including Flickr and YouTube. Their Facebook fan page was over 800,000 fans and their Twitter has almost 500,000. I have to say, I am most impressed with how well UO is using Flickr — they have a rich community of photographers.

Yes, Urban Outfitters is a huge company and we can hardly compete with their resources, it is a great reminder for us to keep offering unique value to our readers — and to serve it to them as creatively as possible.

What have you given your readers lately? What do you appreciate “receiving” from a site or store?

Read more of Janice’s posts at 5 Minutes for Mom.

And don’t miss a post — follow @5MinutesforMom on Twitter!

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