How to Choose Images for Your Contest Landing Page

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The Sistine Chapel is one of the world’s most famous works of art. It gets 5 million visitors from around the world each year and 20,000 visitors daily.

If it wasn’t Michelangelo’s stunning paintings, the chapel’s ceiling would still be plain blue and simply dotted with stars, and would probably get a lot less attention.

As you can tell, images can make anything come to life. Images get your point across. In the digital marketing space, images have the power to scale your campaigns. As a matter of fact, the brain processes visuals faster than it does with text!

Reasons Why Contest Landing Page Images Matter

When it comes to creating a landing page for your contest, images might be the last thing on your mind. This shouldn’t be the case at all. The right landing page image will:

  • Strike an emotional chord with your audience.
  • Make your brand appear more authentic.
  • Keep your landing page visitors around for longer.
  • Support the message of its surrounding landing page copy.
  • Create a positive brand perception.

The end result is your contest getting more sign-ups and being a success overall.

Using Emotional Marketing in Your Contest Landing Page Images

Emotions are powerful motivators that make people act. The key is to choose landing page images that nudge your visitors in the right direction.

A successful viral marketing campaign to demonstrate this is Dove’s “Real Beauty Sketches” Campaign. The goal of this campaign was to help women change their perception of their beauty which it successfully did.

Before we dive into the specific tips for choosing your landing page images, we’re going to explore how to leverage emotional marketing in any contest landing page:

Know your audience first.

In any marketing campaign, to understand your audience should be your first goal. If you don’t know them, how can you be empathetic with their needs? You’ll be a lot better off with your contest landing page images if you do this.

Ask yourself, “Who are my contest participants?” By researching their needs and desires, you deter prize hunters and attract true fans who are interested in your business.

Portray the season or event.

LiftEngine offers a downloadable whitepaper for business owners and marketers looking to boost their Father’s Day sales. On the landing page, they feature an image of a father and daughter to create a connection with the occasion.

Here’s another example: If you sell baking products and are running a Christmas giveaway, consider giving away an iconic holiday-shaped cookie cutter set and feature it on your landing page.

Tell a story.

As the term implies, visual storytelling is about using images to stimulate and engage your audience’s senses. Isn’t it that you still remember most of the stories from your childhood?

When you use images for storytelling, use images that your contest entrants can identify with. Position them as the hero in your story. That way, they can picture themselves winning and using your prize.

Here’s how Groove Watersports does it:

Instead of simply featuring an image of their prizes, they’ve featured people wearing their prize in outdoor environments who are probably surfing, hiking, or kiteboarding.

Use colors to influence mood.

Your audience might not be aware of it, but your color choice affects how they respond to your message.

Here are some general conclusions about colors and their impact: Blue creates a sense of calm and trust, Green suggests wealth and health, Red suggests motivation and achievement, and Yellow creates an optimistic vibe.  

For inspiration, you can Google “Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotions.”

Leverage the “buy local” strategy.

Get into the buy local movement to foster engagement and loyalty in your community. This strategy creates an experience where your contest audience gets to appreciate locally-owned stores.

Many will even feel the obligation to join to be able to help support a cause, save the environment, and improve their health. It’s a win-win.

Brett Whipp, the owner of a social media agency Shire Talk, ran a campaign where people could win prizes from local brands. They shared their landing page on Facebook, and used a featured image that clearly showed the local theme of the contest:

How to Choose (and Use) the Right Contest Landing Page Images

After learning how to pick images that drive an emotional response, it’s time to make sure that you get the right images possible for your contest landing page.

1. Reconsider stock photography

While you can easily grab free stock images on popular sites like Pixabay or Pexels, they can hurt your brand because of their lack of authenticity. Anyone can use your choice of a stock photo, and the last thing you want is for your audience to think that you’re just “another” business.

Should you use free images, consider customizing them. With the help of a design tool such as Canva or Photoshop, you can change their colors or remove elements that are irrelevant to your contest.

2. Showcase your prize

What better way to motivate people to win in your contest by featuring the reward itself? Whether your prize is an experience, a digital learning material, or a physical product, a photo of that prize is going to make that prize more tangible.

Myrtle Beach does a great job of showing the beach house vacation prize which they’re giving away. As you can see, the image shows the view of the beach house from the outside and a view of the seashore when you’re inside the house.

Be sure to get your lighting right when taking a shot of your contest prize to produce a quality image. Show it from other angles (the best ones) so people can appreciate it more.

3.  Use a directional cue to your advantage

When scanning a landing page, we almost immediately notice the faces that are on the landing page, and the direction these faces are looking at. See how the “stick man” on Kopywriting Kourse’s stares at the headline above the sign-up form and points to the sign-up form.

Like the example above, you can use directional cues by adding human (real or cartoon) subjects, arrows, or both to make your contest participants focus on your message or form and get them to take action.

4. Make your image complement your copy

Images draw attention to your landing page, but that doesn’t mean that you should neglect your copy. Avoid choosing an image just because it looks attractive, without considering the message of the landing page.

Visuals and copy that complement one another create a one-two punch. Remember the saying, “All roads lead to Rome.” In the context of this tip, make sure that your image and copy should achieve the same goal.

Here’s an example from Slack (screenshot above). Notice that the headline and image are all about accomplishing stuff together. While that landing page isn’t a contest landing page, you can use the same principle.

5. Add social proof testimonials with headshots

Testimonials are pieces of evidence that back up your marketing claims.

They’re powerful elements to include on your contest landing page as they build trust when new contest entrants try to figure out what benefit they can gain by connecting with your business.

This is especially true if one of the end goals of your contest is to generate sales of your product which you’ll be using as your contest prize.

Adding photos of your users strengthen the testimonials. See how Udemy does it at the bottom of their home page:

Bonus Tips for Contest Landing Page Images

Want to make sure that your contest landing page converts well? Here are additional tips for you:

Resize the images on your landing page

Speed impacts your landing page performance. A large image file size delays page loading time. The longer people have to wait, the less likely they’ll convert.

If you’ve already set-up a contest landing page on your site, you can check its speed performance using Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Next, optimize your landing page images by compressing them using a free online tool like TinyPNG.

Do A/B testing

Conducting split testing where you’re going to create two versions of your contest landing page and modify just the image. The goal is for you to identify whether version A performs better than version B or vice versa in terms of the image.

Read More: A/B Split Testing: 5 things that will make or break it

Choose colors that align with your site’s theme

Should you decide to run your contest on your website, consider your site theme colors when choosing an image. Being consistent with your brand colors can put you at the top of your audience’s minds and improve the overall appeal of your site.

Final Thoughts

You’re all set! Start implementing these landing page image tips so you can run contests that get results. If you need a tool for setting up contests from the ground up, use UpViral.

UpViral gives you the option to use their hosted pages or embed your contest into your website or blog. It allows you to perform split tests, send automated follow-up emails, and get your contest entrants to take various actions that meet your business goals. Learn more today.