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For startups these days, video is all the rage. As cliché as it sounds, it’s absolutely true. At the 2012 TV and Everything Video forum by the Association of National

Advertisers, the world’s most influential advertising and marketing executives gathered to discuss how video co

ntent is at “the Beginning of the Future.” Even big businesses (as slow as they are in adapting to change) recognize the power that video holds.

If you’re a startup ready to take full advantage of the power of video content, here are three tips for how startups can use video to market themselves:

1. Publish exclusive content

OK, so you probably don’t have millions of dollars to blow on a famous director or hire celebrities for brand endorsement.

In fact, that’s perfectly fine. You actually don’t need deep pockets to pull off an incredible business video that will get you more customers and sales.

If you’ve found your niche, and your community loves what you’re doing, you can offer them exclusive content big businesses wouldn’t even think of. For example, if you’re an online retailer that sells avant-garde women’s dresses, you can host a video interview with an up-and-coming fashion designer that sells some of his or her product on your site, and share it with your privileged community.

By providing your audience with value they’re not going to get elsewhere, you’ll always be able to compete for more market share.

2. Create awesome how-to videos and become a thought leader

Using video, you can educate your customers about anything related to your product or your industry.

An example of a startup that does how-to video marketing incredibly well is SEOmoz. For their audience of Search-Engine-Optimization (SEO) enthusiasts, there’s everything to love about their Whiteboard Friday videos including, How to Stop Over Optimizing and Start Creating for SEO.

Instead of just talking about how their products can help customers, SEOmoz creates undeniably useful video content that SEOs can use every day. The videos help established SEOmoz as a thought leader in the realm of SEO. The logic here is that if SEOmoz’s free content provides so much value, its paid products must be worth every penny.

Of course, there’s no shame in creating how-to videos for how your product works and why it’s awesome, since there’s always an audience that’s almost ready-to-buy, but needs a bit more clarification and sometimes a bit of hand holding.

3. Use a multimedia marketing approach and extend your reach

Video marketing for startups isn’t about trying to create astronomically viral videos.

Instead, startups should approach video marketing with the idea of providing their audience with unbelievably compelling content to increase consumer engagement and sales. Small businesses can add video to their marketing arsenal, therefore, taking a multimedia marketing approach that will enhance the success of their overall marketing efforts.

The beauty behind video marketing is that you get connected to a wider audience, including an audience that often prefers video over other media and is also more receptive to video promotions. Through video marketing, you also increase your viral coefficient. While this doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get 100k views in the next week, it is more likely that your content will get passed around. Plus, you also have the opportunity to tell your story in a better way than words and pictures alone can describe.

As a startup, since you probably can’t buy your way into a Super Bowl time slot, you should use your marketing dollars effectively. Invest in video to market your startup and make great business videos that will help build your audience, increase your thought leadership, improve customer engagement, and, ultimately, grow sales.