As holiday sales migrate online, more marketers dedicate the lion's share of their digital marketing budgets to search and social media.

As marketers become more digitally savvy in their year-round campaigns, they’re bringing the same know-how to holiday marketing strategies. A study by Kenshoo found that more than 70 percent of brands will dedicate more than half of their digital budgets to search optimization and social media when executing holiday marketing campaigns in 2014.

Traditional marketers might see this as risky because search is competitive and social media is sometimes hard to connect with ROI, but they’re missing a crucial point. Consumers are already using these channels to research products and services this year.

Brafton recently reported that the average consumer consults about 12 sources before making a purchase decision. Chances are, most of those research journeys start on search and lead users to company websites, review pages and other publications. With a strong search strategy, businesses can increase their chances of showing up on the first page of results and securing a spot in buyers’ research pathways.

A separate report from MarketLive confirmed that social media is having an influence on shoppers. Just under half of all consumers surveyed for a poll said they consider social referrals when deciding what to buy around the holiday season.

The bottom line is that by dedicating holiday budgets to digital campaigns, brands are planting themselves in the pathway that most buyers use to find products and services for year-end purchases.

To find out more about how companies can distribute marketing materials across these channels for maximum impact, check out these additional resources:

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.