The hero shot is not just about the ability of the photographer to show to your audience what you do and what your products offer. More than that, the hero shot is the representation of the benefits that your customers can get by going with what you are offering.
Your media is a visual treat that should say “this is what you can be with us”. There are some ways to make this better so you can amplify your copy with your visuals.
Match Your Hero Shot with Your Message
The simplest but most complex way to make your hero shot super effective is to match your message. Plain and simple, you just need to make sure your keyword and your call to action match what you’re trying to convey in the photo.
A good example is Unilever’s Sustainable Growth: Value + Values campaign on its home page. The hero shot shows an African woman in a farm backdrop enjoying the fruits of her labour. The image shows a message of, simply, sustainable growth. Matching the image with the message is important in fulfilling the expectation of somebody going to Unilever’s website to do business with them. Be careful with this, however. You can try to convey a message in your image and actually miss the entire point of your landing page altogether. Carefully consider the elements of your image as this should boil down to “does this image tell my audience my message?” and nothing else.
Your Hero Shot Should be Able to Stand Alone
What many people don’t get with hero shots is that while it should look professional, it should also be able to stand alone and still put across what you are trying to say without the help of your copy. A simple way to show this is to just isolate the image and take a look if it still conveys your point.
As an example, a speech website uses this image for their “tools to get the job done”. Though the entire copy works for their purposes, what happens if you isolate the image? What do you think the image sells? Mechanic tools? Maybe a tool holster?
As a counter-point, Vegemite is trying to market its product as a breakfast staple. Once you isolate the image, what you get is still Vegemite in the middle of a hearty breakfast. This does not mean that you should always put your products and services in the middle of your hero shot, but that the image should be able to stand alone and still have your audience know that this medium is for this product or service.
Your Copy Should Enhance Your Hero Shot
While your hero shot should be able to be independent of your copy, this does not mean that your copy should be independent of your hero shot. Your visual aids – from the headline, sub headline, call to action, form and even the colour of your button should be harmonious with your hero shot.
A prime example is the Beats by Dr Dre landing page. The hero shot has Kylie Jenner in a gold overlay filter wearing gold Beats Over Ears. The buttons are coloured black and red in contrast to the brightness of gold, the text is in white and the navigation is black and red. The combination is not only easy on the eyes but also support how beautiful the image is. The hero shot can define the copy, but the copy can help define the image better.