A hero shot that is!
A hero shot is an image that illustrates the benefit(s) of purchasing a product or service. Customers can’t touch that leather jacket or smell that expensive perfume when they’re browsing a website. So this image has to communicate to them how it’s going to make them feel. If you’re going to convert a prospect into a customer you need a photo that resonates with their pain point(s) but creates a positive vibe.
Take, for example, a website that sells takeaway food. The owner might use a picture of a family sitting on the sofa enjoying a meal, relaxed, smiling, enjoying themselves. It’s conjuring up the essence of having a great night at home and draws the customer in. Alternatively, using an image of some friends looking miserable while they survey their empty plates is a no-no as it reminds the viewer of the problem they want to fix. It’s conveying the wrong body language, too.
Make sure your hero shot matches your keyword(s). If these are ‘takeaway’ and ‘free delivery’ don’t pick an image of a family eating in a fine dining restaurant.
It’s important to create your own images, rather than using stock photos, as these lack authenticity and don’t communicate the benefits of your product. Photos of real people can increase conversion rates too, up to 35%. Ask your subjects to look away from the camera as they’re photographed. This will enable you to position a Call To Action next to their image so your model is facing it. Aligning your CTA so it’s in the model’s eye line will help draw your visitor’s eyes to it. Studies have shown that when people see a pair of eyes staring back at them from a page they don’t look at the text around them. Which means that crucial CTA being ignored.
Your audience – Does your hero shot reflect the customer(s) you want to attract? If you’re promoting a top-of-the-range sports car that’s aimed at women aged between 35-50, do your models fit that age category? Are they dressed in the clothes of a professional businesswoman? Your audience needs to be able to picture themselves as the hero on the screen to engage with your product.
While a hero shot doesn’t have to include people in it, the viewer should always be able to tell what its purpose is without the need for captions or headlines. Captions are important though! Studies have shown they get read 300% more than all other copy.
Lastly, make sure that your headlines, copy and CTA enhance your image. If they don’t align, change them so they do. Headlines below images get read 10% more than those positioned above images.