Your website gives you direct control over the message you want to convey to your market, and is one of the critical foundations for success in your business.
Like it or not, first impressions are everything. And it only takes visitors about 50 milliseconds to form an opinion about your site and your business when they land on a page.
Which makes hero images pretty damn important when it comes to your marketing.
A hero image is a single high-impact image that captures your attention at the top of a web page, and it should show your main specialty/product that you want to be known for.
The best hero images increase your brand message and use storytelling to connect with your audience. When coupled with a compelling headline and clear call to action, the resulting trifecta is a powerful conversion strategy.
In order to keep your audience interested and engaged, you should plan to change the hero images frequently on your website.
Here are two ways you can do that easily without missing a beat:
Mix it into your sessions
Make a point to shoot at least one hero image during each session. Depending on how you photograph, this may be second nature or it may require forcing yourself to recompose once in a while (especially if you shoot mostly vertical or ‘tight’ images).
Create a separate folder on your computer where you can add these images after each session. This gives you fresh options to choose from whenever you need a new hero image.
Throw a party
Schedule a shoot with your influencers or favorite clients and turn it into a party. Setup multiple seamless paper backgrounds in a variety of colors (don’t forget white!) and get creative with ‘props’ – hats, balloons, bubbles, sunglasses, scarves, popsicles, lollipops, drinks with colored straws, bright lipstick, cookies, statement earrings, etc.
Create a playlist for the event and setup a space where everyone can print their own selfies and group shots. This creates natural ways for your influencers to share their excitement and pictures while you create hero images and other content for your marketing.
BONUS: Shoot images for a stop motion video that you can use on your website and social media to show off the fun side of the experience to your audience.
While it goes without saying that hero images need to be photographed horizontal (landscape), here are a few tips to help you add impact to your hero images:
Plan ahead for specific hero images that you want to display on your site. Make a list of these shots and keep it in your camera bag to refer to often.
No, wider. You can always crop later, but remember – dead space is your friend.
Direct Their Attention
People follow the gaze of others, so use this to ‘guide’ the viewer’s attention to where you want it (headline, call to action, scroll down, etc.).
Aka another way to draw the viewer’s eye to the message.
Fix It In Photoshop
Got a killer hero image that isn’t wide enough? Extend your canvas in photoshop and either ‘stretch’ or clone the background to create the final image.
1. Attention-Grabbing Headline
2. Single High-Impact Hero Image
3. Clear Call To Action
One last thing…
Avoid using sliders with multiple images (especially ones that represent multiple product lines). These conversion killers are distracting, confusing, and a buzzkill for the overall user experience.