10 Inspiring Header Images To Help Boost Your Next Post
Header images have become common practice on social networks. For good reason too, adding a header image is the easiest way to increase engagement more than 2x.
Header images are still helping posts receive higher engagement. However, because this is becoming common practice, the promise of 2x engagement is fleeting. This is due to three things; the over use of stock photography, poorly matched or confusing header images, and low quality or poorly edited header images.
As a content marketer, I am constantly learning from other brilliant marketers so I can hone my skills. The following list of header images was collected by me over three months of regularly checking LinkedIn. I didn’t go searching for these, whenever I passed one, I would take a screen shot and save it for later.
1.) Tell a story
IBM Watson Marketing. “The Art of Marketing: 3 soft skills every marketing team needs.” This header image is incredibly engaging. The image itself tells a story that I want to investigate and read. The connection to the title of the article is not blatant, but the image does its job in attracting my attention and asking myself, “what is going on here.”
2.) Use Animation
This may seem like a shameless plug, but I mean no personal gain by it. This header image was designed by me. I found a type writer vector and applied a bright background to it. I also added the typewriter-esque font to, “Perfect Headline.”
This blog post did very well, and I believe some of that performance came from the header image. Animated/graphic design headers seem to be doing much better these days.
3.) Be Snappy
Grammarly has a fantastic content market campaign running right now. They mix puns and much more with common grammar mistakes. The header images that come with it, like the one below, are fabulous examples of connecting the post in the image itself.
This post was about making fun of jargon in business settings. This graphic design header is clean, attractive, and includes a small joke about the topic of the blog post.
With a good sense of type faces and some power point skills, anyone could make this in 20minutes.
4.) Include the Audience
In this case, I included the entire post. When I first saw this ad, I was taken back by the photo. I would have assumed it was an ad for a small/home business owner to relieve stress from their life. Instead, it was a prompt to check out Wilmington University’s certification programs.
Assuming their target market is similar to the woman in the photo, this image is a perfect example of placing your target audience in the header. Anyone who is dealing with this problems, and can empathize with this photo will surely click the link.
5.) Match the Messaging
Again, Grammarly does a fantastic job of making clean and engaging header images. The messaging in this header is clear and to the point. This is a good example of matching the header image with the message of the article. If the message is one that causes most people to become frustrated, consider putting some frustrated characters in your header.
6.) State Facts — Be Helpful
This header image leads to a full blog post on sizing your header images for LinkedIn. However, I’m not convinced it needed to. This is a fantastic example of a helpful header image that could be considered a mini cheat sheet.
7.) Include the Headline
The Moz blog lead by Rand Fishkin puts out fantastic content. Their designers also do a great job of creating original headers that we can learn from and easily replicate. In this example, you can see the header image included the title of the blog post. This isn’t always necessary but can be helpful as some people will only look at the header.
8.) Include a Process
This was an article shared by one of my LinkedIn connections from the Contently team. The header image is so clean and detailed that it could be considered a mini infographic. Including a mini process like this could engage the audience enough to drive further interest in the entire blog post.
9.) Visualize the Idea
I believe this article was published in the Harvard Business Review. The title was, “Why the future of tech will be lead by Liberal arts majors.” It is a fantastic animated representation of the title. A header like this might take some serious design skills, but you may be able to find and connect some vectors to help recreate it.
10.) Express Pain Through Design
A blog post by Thomas Reuters. This is one of the larger firms adopting content marketing to drive new business. With a great staff comes brilliant designers. I love how this header image inspires action with a question. There is a great CTA embedded in the image as well.
Notice how the 69% circle graph was turned into a clock, very clever. It appears to be telling me that I’m definitely wasting time. Another brilliant piece snuck in there was, “Feel familiar”. It could certainly push a reader to realize their pain point.
Putting these to work for your content
Get creative, these images are a mere inspiration for you. Please go one step further in designing header images that produce results.Picasso once said, “good artists borrow, great artists steal.” I encourage everyone to take these brilliant header images and apply them to your own content.
Scrap the generic stock photography images of coffee and business meetings. Replicating theses headers can be as easy as opening up MS power point and copying their most creative elements.
Send me any header images you love! @jefnwk on twitter.