by John Borst, PP Rotary Club of Dryden

Does your Rotary club website use video on its home page?

Like it or not today’s world is saturated with media. We are simply overwhelmed with text, pictures, graphics and video.

This is the world in which a Rotary Club’s website has to compete. So your first job as a website editor is to engage and grab a viewer’s attention. According to The Deep End, “a website has ten seconds to capture a visitor’s attention before losing them forever”. An introductory video is just the thing you need to keep them engaged and on your site.

A quick review of 10 ClubRunner based Rotary club websites chosen at random revealed only 3 of 10 had a video on its home page. However, all three appeared at the bottom of the page and it is doubtful a viewer would or could scroll down to it in under 10 seconds.

Rotary International designs videos just for the purpose of engaging and grabbing a viewer’s attention. Each is between 30 and 60 seconds long.

In choosing which RI videos to use judge if it:

  • Provides information?
  • Engages and connects to viewers?
  • Creates emotion?
  • Gives direction?

Then use the RI produced videos as they were intended. Put one at the top of your page.


On a ClubRunner 3+ version design, at the Dryden website, I put it in the extra widget space below the full-width carousel banners, which is the first attention grabber.

Not convinced? Carolyn Edgecomb quoting tmg Custom Media, says that “60% of respondents said they would watch video previous to reading text on the same webpage, and 22% said they generally liked watching video more than browsing text for examining business information”.

But it gets even more challenging when you are dealing with viewers whose attention span has decreased from 12 to just 8 seconds.

Of the 10 ClubRunner sites reviewed all but three were heavily text based, one was just picture based and the other two used a picture and a very brief introductory text.

It is likely by this point the viewer has long ago scanned the text-based page, been overwhelmed and left. Although the pictures are a move in the right direction they provide no context without some text and the viewer is left confused so has also gone.

If the introductory video is successful the viewer has been with you for nearly a minute and now has a choice of 3 to 5 stories inviting them to explore a service club’s activity in more depth.

According to, “Approximately 30% of page visitors watch your introductory video and 50% of those viewers watch the video in its entirety”. This converts into a 10% increase that the viewer will choose to click on one of the stories or share the video on a personal social media site.

In summary, the 4 reasons to use video on your club’s homepage is to enhance your Rotary club site as being:

  1. Informational
  2. Engaging
  3. Emotional
  4. Directional