In December, consumers turned to search engines to find products and services.

The holiday season has come and gone, but marketers are still evaluating data from December 2012 to assess how different marketing channels affected seasonal shopping campaigns so that they’re prepared for the coming year. Was social media marketing the best tactic? Was blogging? How about SEO? How much do the holidays affect the field of content marketing? Can lessons from this December be applied in January?

Baynote recently compiled a number of statistics regarding online shopping behavior this holiday season, only to find that social media marketing had little effect on converting consumers, but that SEO  and email marketing may be better avenues for B2C ecommerce companies.

Only 9 percent of consumers said they used Facebook or Twitter to improve the shopping experience. Although ecommerce on social sites have not seen substantial success this holiday season, brands  willing to develop SEO content strategies to be revealed in search may see benefits, as 49 percent of consumers reported that they use Google or another search engine to find out about where to buy their favorite products and services.

Email marketing is also a channel that saw success, with 25 percent of consumers making an online purchase based on promotional messages, according to Baynote. Thirty-eight percent reported sifting through email inboxes for bargains. The volume of email coming into inboxes rose by 19 percent in 2012, showing that email is a place where marketers should focus their attention. Developing custom content that is engaging and relevant will be essential as marketers strive to make sure their brands stick out from the pack.

Emma Siemasko is a former member of Brafton's editorial team. Emma has experience with blogging, travel writing, industry news, SEO and content marketing. She used to live in South Korea, where she mastered the art of using metal chopsticks.