When we think about conversions, we often focus on text: how can I describe this feature better, how can I tell the customer how great our product is, how can I explain how much thought and energy has gone into this solution? In short – how can I inspire them to take the action I need them to take and place an order, pick up the phone, send us an email, and so on.
However, we sometimes forget that landing pages are built from more than just words (which are, without a doubt, incredibly important).
The images and videos you choose to use will make just as much of an impact – if not even a more profound one.
When someone lands on your page, the first thing they will see are the images – and if these are cluttered, garish, harsh, blurry, or simply not well-chosen, a visitor might click away even before they ever read some of your inspiring words.
That’s why today, we are going to explore four important facts (with examples) to keep in mind when choosing images and videos for your landing pages, so that you can create a complete package that will help improve your conversion rates.
1. Use your own
Although there are plenty of stock images available out there, and some might even evoke powerful emotions and illustrate the solutions you are offering perfectly, you should still always choose to use original images if you can.
First of all, using stock images means that someone else can use the same image. In theory, a user might be exposed to the same images by two different brands, and have a negative association embedded in their mind by someone else before they reach you.
By using your own images, you are in control of what you are showing the visitor, and you can demand a higher standard of quality. Even if the image is general, it should be custom and made just for you.
Here is an example from, perhaps surprisingly, a website that offers stock photos, Offset:
The main image of their hero is a custom image, and it is not offered as a stock photo, and if a stock photo platform is using an original image on their homepage, then that’s really saying something. This ensures that they set themselves apart by using an image that uniquely represents them.
Videos should, of course, be completely original. That goes without saying – there is no way you can use someone else’s for your purposes.
2. The product should be front and centre
The first thing people want to see is the product – it’s as simple as that. If you fail to show it, visitors will simply not be interested in looking any further.
This is especially important for all of your product-specific pages. Show the product from different angles, let visitors zoom in and see it up close, and make sure to showcase all the different colour variations if there are any.
The product should be the main focus of your hero section, like on this page on Zomasleep: the first thing you see is the mattress, and you can instantly tell if you like it or not. Why would you want to waste visitors’ time on an item that is not even what they are looking for, by forcing them to scroll to find an image? Or worse still, forcing them to google it.
Even on pages that are more general and are the main category of a product, you should still use an image that will show the product clearly, or at least an example of it.
If you offer a service and not a product, you should still use images to illustrate it. If it’s a piece of software, how does its interface look? If you offer landscaping services, what does one of your gardens look like?
You get the idea.
If you also incorporate a video of the product or service where that makes sense, you will be giving visitors a prime chance of getting to know it as well as they can before making a decision.
3. Think about the colours and the emotions you want to evoke
The colours you choose for your images will play a major role in how your website is perceived.
Think about the feeling your product or service is meant to evoke. If you are selling skateboards, for example, you might want to choose more upbeat and bright colours for your images and videos. On the other hand, a software solution like Landing Cube wants to evoke a feeling of action and getting things done, which is why this simple combination of vibrant colours works so well for them. The yellow buttons really cut through, and draw the users eye to the key CTAs on the page.
The emotions you evoke with the use of these colours and the way you tell your story through visuals is what will inspire people to convert, or to click away, which is why so much thought should go into making decisions about them.
If you are not sure about an effect, test out the visuals you have created on someone who has never seen it before – focus groups are excellent for the purpose, but you can just ask a friend or family member, too.
4. Use real people
When you can, you should always have a real person, not a model, talk about the product.
This can mean you can ask some of your customers to be featured in images or video. You may use (with their permission) some of their images, but you can also organize a shoot and show how real people are benefiting from your product or service.
This will make connecting with your brand much easier for future customers as well.
You can, of course, also show one of your employees, or yourself. For example, here is a Touch Bistro video where the owner himself is talking about the product.
This will, once again, strengthen your connection with your audience, as you will no longer be a faceless brand. They will get to know you on what feels like a more personal level, inspiring further action. There is a reason why brands often have a spokesperson, and why vlogging has exploded in popularity.
Remember that it might take some trial and error to find the best video or image for a landing page. Always consider the target audience that will be interested in that page and what they might like to see. If a page is not doing what you hoped it might do, try changing the images first, and see what kinds of results you get.
People are highly visual creatures, and while science can explain a lot about the ways images affect us, there is no accounting for taste. So, what might have worked on one person might not work on someone else, and so you will have to keep trying until you find a formula that works on most people.