Are you thinking of putting a custom-made video on the home page of your ClubRunner website? Done right it can be a positive step in recruiting members to your service club. Done wrong, it may only confuse your website visitor.
Do: Make what your Rotary club does clear!
 
Start off by getting right to the point. Use common words and leave the Rotary jargon at home. Make it local within the context of an International or National perspective.
 
There is no sense in an esoteric explanation that just leaves your viewer confused.  Speak in a friendly, informative, and conversational tone. Suggest an action that will invite them to engage with your website or a member of the club.
 
Use club members who exude real and powerful emotions about what Rotary does.
 
Do: Understand your audience
 
Remember, your website and the video are the first experiences a first-time visitor has with Rotary and your club.
A video positioned for such a visitor has to have an image that draws them to want to view it. That image is all you have to symbolize what is the common characteristics of a typical club member.
 
“People of Action”, People who put “Service Above Self” are mottos about what is common among Rotarians, but every club is unique. Can you define that uniqueness?   Have the images in the body of the video captured who you are; does it ensure a good cross-section of your members appear in the video?  The dialogue should focus on feelings, not numbers. If the club does not yet represent the full range of the community’s citizenry let the viewer know that is the club’s goal.
 
In short, you want to present what is unique about Rotary and you want to leave a lasting impression.
 
Do: Keep your video short
 
Ideally, a home page video must be short. Between 1 and 2 minutes is ideal.
 
Recognize, this is an introduction to Rotary and the club. The video is there to motivate the viewer to explore the website in more depth.
 
Too much information is likely to bore the viewer and lengthen the video.
 
Do: Plan your video in great detail
 
Just as in writing the shorter the piece, the harder it is to create. Videos take even more planning and organizing.
 
You may have to generate an hour worth of video to find those few seconds with the words and pictures to make it clear what Rotary is and does.
 
Talk, talk and talk some more with your team so you agree on exactly what you want to achieve both visually and auditorily.  
 
Take the time to create a storyboard with time frames for each item you want to highlight.
 
As an amateur videographer for my club, I have learned the hard way that you cannot do it alone and that getting good sound is vital to creating a quality video.
 
Do: Test out “autoplay” of your video
 
Your video is complete and it is now ready to put on your website’s home page. Using “autoplay” is one option. Some web-editors encourage it, others hate it.
 
Wistia, a video software company has mixed feelings about having your video start up automatically upon visiting a site. It takes choice away from the viewer but if the video is powerful enough the dividends according to its research are quite positive.
 
If your video has these characteristics Wistia recommends trying the autoplay function.
  • Keep the video short and sweet.
  • Don’t show too much motion.
  • Try using a single, looping movement on an otherwise static page.
  • Make your auto-playing videos silent or sound-optional.
Do: Give your video centre stage
 
Putting your home page video front and centre may not be as easy as it might first appear. Ideally, you want all of the video to appear above the fold, that is above the line where you have to scroll to see the content.
 
Many ClubRunner sites have rather large banners. If you have to, narrow the banner before downsizing the size of the video or consider using a no banner template.
 
In a similar fashion let nothing in the space detract from the video, especially if it is in auto-play mode. A carousel banner would be such a distraction. Even a carousel Stories banner partially below it is a distraction.
 
If you use a three-column template rearrange the three columns so that they do not appear to the left and right of the video.
 
In closing
 
If all of this sounds daunting, it is. A lot depends upon the individual vocational or hobby skills of your members. If your club is large and wealthy, consider using a professional.
 
We all want our clubs to grow but do we want it strongly enough to invest the time, energy, and money to create a home page video that just might work.
Sponsors