A report from Maxifier found that more businesses are spending their money on branding initiatives.

A report from Maxifier found that marketing budgets are increasingly focused on developing brand awareness, rather than directly influencing consumers to make purchases. In general, the web and the growth of new media marketing channels have allowed companies to develop long-term strategies that focus on improving brand awareness and visibility, but the report highlights that marketers can’t lose sight of conversion optimization opportunities within their campaigns.

According to the report, U.S. marketers spend 54 percent of their budgets on direct response campaigns, 43 percent is for branding initiatives and 3 percent is dedicated elsewhere. The study compared U.S. numbers directly to those in the U.K. and found American businessess are more aggressive with branding efforts.

In general, companies view SEO and social media marketing, among other branding strategies, as more effective for their organizations in the long term. While display ads can be an improvement in the short term, a branding plan will improve a company’s visibility on the web and help them appear more credible to prospects.

Using a comprehensive multichannel effort that allows users to find content through search, share it on social and follow or Like these accounts without just a few clicks simply makes a business more appealing to a prospect.

Focusing on the search side is likely the best starting point. Brafton recently reported that 55 percent of consumers say they use search engines more than once every day. Plus, MarketingSherpa data reveals that when businesses pair SEO with quality content and conversion marketing, the strategy is a top tool for not only brand awareness, but also lead generation. Marketers cited search engine optimization as the top driver of high-quality leads.

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.