You have spreaded the meaning and actions of the tiles in the corners, when you want to drag attention to them instead.
So you can rework your tiles to be like this:
Additionally, instead of the hover with a zoom on the picture, create a hover that is impacting the whole tile (the whole blue block) and avoid suing zooms that produces blur. So you can try the make the whole tile move up 10px in 200ms (and back in 150ms).
Last, you can rework the general visual hierarchy of the page to make the tiles block pop up more. It means everything outside the tile block should be faded a bit and not as vibrant as the tiles themselves. (Big title can have a 80% opactity, reduce contrast on the photo with a white layer on top, make the blue background a bit faded etc..)
This will give your users a much better incentive to click the tiles.