SEO, content marketing and social media marketing are the three most relied upon channels for businesses, a report shows.

A report from LBi and bigmouthmedia found that SEO, content marketing and social media marketing are the top three digital marketing channels.

Currently, SEO and content marketing, typically working together, are the top method with more than 63 percent of businesses using them. While social media is No. 3, it has become more popular in 2011, with more than 27 percent of businesses using it. Further social growth is expected moving forward, the report suggests.

SEO marketing campaigns using content strategies have helped businesses improve on several fronts. The two most prominent are SERP standing and industry thought leadership, according to the report. Content’s value as an SEO approach is increasingly clear to marketers as nearly one-third (31.4 percent) say Panda has impacted their businesses.

In addition to offering SEO benefits, Brafton reported on Tuesday that content marketing has become even more valuable as older channels become more expensive and less effective. With lead generation and prospect conversion named as the two largest priorities in B2B marketing, integrated campaigns, including content and social, are becoming more mainstream.

Joe Meloni is Brafton's former Executive News and Content Writer. He studied journalism at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has written for a number of print and web-based publications.