This is Steve Kamb. This entrepreneur knows how to differentiate himself through the image.
He is not a professional designer. However, when arriving on its site and its landing pages on nerdfitness.com, we perceive that we are dealing with something that we do not see in other sports coaches.
Steve Kamb uses photographs to pass messages more powerful and effective than words.
In a previous article, I already used the example of Steve Kamb and Nerdfitness to demonstrate how words used in his Value proposition helped significantly increase the conversions of its landing pages.
Very poor uses of photography
On most websites, the use of photographs shows a lack of idea and confidence in what a photo can convey as messages. Here are some examples :
- Using worn themes…
- … or forced humor
- Repeat information already present in the text
- Using images that are too vague and could be applied to lots of other subjects
- In short, use images that you see everywhere and that say absolutely nothing about you or what you have to offer.
In these examples of using images, photography has too few meanings and does nothing for your content.
The images in the structure of a landing page
Here is the basic structure of a landing page. The value proposition will serve to grab attention while the other elements (Products and evidence) should allow you to convince your visitor that you have an interesting solution to offer. As for the call to action, it will materialize its decision to subscribe or buy a product from you.
But it is not enough to respect these good structural practices of the landing page to grab the attention of a visitor and convince him.
It’s the language used which will allow you to achieve this goal. It must meet the following three objectives
- The target will have to recognize himself;
- Its problem should be mentioned and the product should appear as an obvious solution to the problem thanks to the evidence;
- The approach to the problem and the solution will have to differentiate the entrepreneur and his product from what the competition offers.
The article I wrote earlier on the value proposition will help you explore how words get you there.
Here are three examples that show you how images, and in particular photographs, can also meet these three objectives.
3 good uses of the photographic image in a landing page – The Wix example
In fact, a good image is an integral part of a value proposition as you see here with Wix.
It contributes to all of the messages that the landing page must pass.
The messages in the image complement the text without ever repeating the same messages. This can be seen in the analysis below.
Photographs have their own meaning and should be used as stand-alone messages, not to repeat what is already written. We’ll see in the following examples how other businesses and entrepreneurs are using images very effectively.
Marie Forleo highlights the experiences of its customers
The photograph is simple to set up and very effective. However, it is generally very badly used because it requires (a little) time of preparation with the subjects and the situations to be photographed.
For this, she uses shots of customers in their daily lives, carrying out the activities that fascinate them and thanks to which they have been able to emancipate themselves.
She also uses the selfies and photographs that her clients send her. Here is its landing page (you can click on the image to enlarge it).
These photographs which give strength to Marie Forleo’s value proposition. They are proof by experience of what his coaching brings to his clients.
Document an experience like Marie Forleo
Text-image and web components (call to action) complement each other
The call to action is written to build on the various images that have just been shown. By registering for the training provided by Marie Forleo, the visitor comes to add their own testimony to this gallery of success stories.
Photographs that describe situations
These photographs don’t just give testimonials, they also describe situations. And these situations are presented visually, they bring information that is not present in the text.
In these two testimonial photos, the people photographed are at home, outside the United States, in non-American clothing and architecture. The first person is a client, the second is an association that has received support from Marie. The text poses each time the benefit that Marie brought to these two people.
By making the text-image association, we understand in addition to that that Marie is aimed at everyone, especially audiences that traditional coaches do not favor: women, people living abroad, people living in environments non-American cultural, etc.
In fact, the targeting and demarcation go almost exclusively through the image, because the success stories prove to be fairly standard and comparable to what can be found elsewhere in entrepreneurial coaching.
Relevant use of the testimony photo
Through her use of photography, Marie Forleo manages to:
- Testify of the coaching experience of his students;
- Inspire ;
- Create reading rhythms using different photographic formats: portrait, in situ reporting, selfie, etc. ;
- And more importantly, it sends messages that words fail to deliver. In the images presented above, we see through the images of rich situations : Yoga, Art, Creation, Sport, Nautical, Sea, Outdoors, foreign, Africa, Ocean, Asia, Sea, Traditional craft, Architecture, Habitat, Painting, Fishing without any of these words being written.
Illustrate your landing pages with illustrations of your products
Illustrative photography is different from the documentary photo we just saw with Marie Forleo. It aims to visually clarify who is being announced by the text.
However, it turns out to be more complicated to implement than the documentary photo presented above. Take this illustrative example, still at Marie Forleo, but in her product page this time.
This example is ultimately less interesting than the use that Marie Forleo makes of her testimonial photographs, because she falls into the trap of which we spoke above. It does not provide any interesting information in relation to what is contained in the text.
Marie Forleo offers “Copy cure” training to help her clients treat writing their content and sales pages. The picture presents a pharmaceutical bottle next to a landing page. The image of the bottle is therefore a strict equivalent of the word priest (and the idea of care).
The photo is clean is well done, but it is not enough. On the other hand, the Squarespace company uses illustration photography in a much more interesting way as we will see now.
On its landing page, Squarespace uses the illustration photo to highlight the variety of its audiences and the quality of its product
Squarespace uses only illustrative photography. The image is there to pass a single message, but by clarifying or “coloring” the text content (example, by adding a dash of humor).
The counterexamples seen at the beginning of the article are mainly related to illustration photography.
- The image does not provide any additional information compared to the text;
- The image wants to illustrate an emotion evoked in the text: humor, anger, etc. This switches your content to the distraction side.
With Squarespace, we have an example of a high-quality use of illustration photography that overcomes these two pitfalls.
The Squarespace images add a lot to the textual content as you can see in the table below:
All the messages to pass in a landing page are present, both in text, but especially in image.
The professional quality of the images taken in the studio must also be emphasized. It allows Squarespace to draw an analogy between the quality of the images and the quality of the product / service offered.
How to get convincing results on your landing pages
Use your own photos without dwelling on the photographic technique
Go easy with your camera and even your smartphone. The quality of most cameras today allows for satisfactory results. Obviously, if you are not a photo professional, you do not have to follow the academic rules of photographic composition (the 2/3 rule, the clarity of the shots, etc.).
Examples of some of Marie Forleo’s testimonial photos show a blurred photo with a centered subject is much more convincing than any image bank photo when you want the testimony to be as artificial as possible.
In fact, only one thing that technically makes the difference between a good quality photo in a marketing context is thelight quality. This advice from grandfather or grandmother is ultimately the only one to which you must be attentive. For it :
- Position your subject correctly in relation to the light source;
- If possible, favor the beautiful morning or late afternoon lights as well as the play of shadows.
And even if you can’t, remember that a failed photo that shows genuine customer satisfaction is better than a standard photo with two stuck guys shaking hands with a Colgate smile.
Also take inspiration from successful examples. For example, you can analyze the page of Facebook advertising specialist Danilo Duchesnes who makes very balanced use of his portraits and photos from image banks.
Use image banks sparingly
If you’re not comfortable with the photo, you can of course find one for free on the web. Illustrative image providers such as iStock or Free Images provide images with interesting themes.
They are however fairly standardized, even in their paid version. We often have the impression that these are images already seen elsewhere.
You can therefore use one of these photos by combining it with other types of more meaningful photographs, preferably yours as Danilo Duchesnes does.
Also consider Flickr, which offers images of excellent amateur photographers who put their work under Creative Commons license (free use for a non-commercial use). Their number and the variety of situations they represent give you the opportunity to find unexpected images that no one else has ever dreamed of using. It will be necessary to take care to respect the rules of Copyright by quoting the author of the image.
Take a step back and see how the whole text-image works in your landing page
Whether you’ve used your own images or those from image banks, replicate the analysis done above with Wix, Marie Forleo or Squarespace by applying it to your own landing page. Just copy and paste the different parts and see if all the messages go well together.
Now it’s your turn !
A landing page is therefore a mix of structural rules to respect, good messages to pass, text and images.
If you want to find out 22 examples of very instructive successes (and failures), consult the guide 22 examples of landing pages to persuade and convert.