Batman or Superman? I personally prefer Superman but my husband likes Batman because he’s “an ordinary (billionaire) dude who fights with a purpose”.
Comic heroes aside, many websites and even marketing materials have some rather lackluster content. Specifically, the Hero Image and messaging of many modern day websites lack the ingenuity needed to make a wicked first impression.
But I get it. Writing effective, engaging content is hard. Writing, in general, is hard for a majority of the population. Myself included.
But writing content, especially for your hero image can actually be fun. I can prove this to you.
One Question Every Business Owner Should Be Able to Answer
When I would sit down with clients to help create a message for their website, I would always ask them one same question. I asked it in different ways, but I was essentially trying to understand one thing.
Why should I choose you over your competitors?
What is your competitive advantage?
What makes you better than your competitors?
Surprisingly (or maybe not), many people couldn’t answer this. Or they could answer it with a very vague and generic response such as “Our quality, our integrity, our experience…” Blah! Were you moved by these statements? Me neither.
It had to be more powerful, yet succinct. Even still, many people really struggled to come up with something. So we would talk a little bit more and I would prod and eventually, we could uncover their competitive advantage. The challenge was then to convey it in an engaging way and then use that messaging as the first piece of content visitors would see on their site.
Criteria For Choosing Content for a Hero Image
- Understand your industry– What are the pain points in the industry as a whole? What problem are you trying to solve? Whatever they are, make it clear that you have overcome those (assuming that you have)
- Don’t Make It About Yourself– I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen “We’re an award-winning…” While impressive, it says nothing about the value you bring to the client.
- Stay Positive– I used to always like using the word “suck”. (ie Websites that don’t suck) I’ve since learned that it doesn’t sound too positive and makes you appear immature 🙂 Instead, focus on the problems that you overcome.
- People Buy The News, Not the Newspaper– Most businesses are concerned with selling their service or product features. Most consumers don’t care. One of the best billboards I have ever seen was for a mower and all it said was “Start Later, Finish Sooner”. Brilliant, right?! So then ask yourself “what benefit do I offer my customer?”
Examples of Hero Image Statements
These are examples that I’ve come up with for clients or things I came up with on the spot. I’ll relate it to the industry to help you understand the context. Feel free to steal any of them 🙂
Industry Problems: They’re late or behind schedule and hard to get a hold of.
Punctual and Responsive Roofing Contractors
Our quality speaks for itself, but Angie also had nice things to say. (hyperlink to your Angie’s list page- make sure it opens up in a new tab so they’re not directed away from your site.)
Industry Problems: People have anxiety going to the dentist or they’re not motivated to stay proactive on dental care
Finally. A Dentist You Actually Look Forward to Seeing
The inviting office, friendly staff, and stress-free exams are what keep our patients excited to come in. It also doesn’t hurt that we offer free, delicious coffee.
Industry: Web Design
Industry Problems: People never hear from the company they work with after they’ve paid and they were oversold on the service and underdelivered.
Anyone Can Build You a Nice Website
But what really counts is a great building experience, thought-provoking design and content, and exceptional post-launch customer service. Work with us and expect nothing less.
Industry: Car Dealership
Industry Problems: Plagued by sleazy salesmen (there are good ones out there!) and frustrating negotiating processes.
No Haggling. No Hidden Agenda. No Kidding.
Getting a new car is fun. Purchasing one can be stressful. So why not eliminate the stress from the process and make the entire experience enjoyable? We did just that.
The Point of Having a Great Initial Message
First impressions count and this may be the first thing they see about your company. As mentioned above, the whole point of this copy (and really any other marketing material) is to encourage someone to take action. This means you want them to 1.) Continue exploring the site 2.) Research your company as a viable solution 3. ) Contact you.
1, 2, and 3 won’t happen if you have a message that doesn’t catch people’s attention.
If you’re still using the same old generic “We can help you” message without being specific and engaging, then you may be doing more harm than good.
So…what do you need to change to restore your superpowers?