Everyone says you need it. You know you want it. But you’re not sure where to start. This is both the dilemma and opportunity of marketing data.

Thanks to the internet, there are countless things small businesses can measure and plenty of tools available to measure them.

Here are just a few kinds of marketing data small businesses should compile to get started:

1.) Customer Acquisition Cost

To calculate your Customer Acquisition Cost you need to first figure out how much money you’re putting into your marketing.

This includes not only the cost of the campaign or ads, but also the salary you’re paying to the people writing copy or making the creative.

Once you determine that, you divide it by the number of new customers you acquire in a fixed period of time.

Knowing this particular part of marketing data can help you understand how well you’re allocating your funds.

Your ratio can show you whether or not you’re breaking even or if your current marketing strategy isn’t worth the cost.

2.) Social Media Engagement

Social media is an integral part of any marketing plan.

More than a billion users are on Facebook alone.

Small business should have a social media presence and measure their social engagement. This can be calculated based around the number of likes/shares/impressions over reach or follower/fan number.

This data can help you determine the effectiveness of a given piece of content and adjust your strategy accordingly.

3.) Video Metrics

As the article, “Expert Interview Series: Jonathan Stefansky on Collecting Marketing Data explains, online video is a key element in effective small business marketing.

You can use video metrics to determine click-through rates and also learn about how people are viewing your videos whether that’s on mobile or desktop.

4.) Organic vs. Paid

Small businesses need to compile data on the differences between the effectiveness of paid vs. organic reach or engagement.

They should be treated separately because they can tell you if the paid ads are worth the investment.

You may discover that you actually have high organic engagement thanks to the strength of your copywriting or design team. Knowing this information will undoubtedly determine how you allocate marketing funds.

5.) Comments & Qualitative Data

When small businesses look at quantitative data alone, they’re playing a dangerous game.

The unfortunate truth is that things like bots happen. It can appear like your marketing content is getting likes or shares but it’s being liked and shared by a non-human.

This is why business owners should compile qualitative data in the form of things like comments or reviews.

Pay attention to the specific products your fans and followers are talking about. Take note of the critiques of your services and use this information to determine what your audience and customers truly want.

Data doesn’t have to be a big, overwhelming task for a small business.

By zeroing in on the kinds of data that matter, ranging from engagement numbers to qualitative impressions, you can keep your marketing on the right track.

About the Author: Kristin Livingstone writes on a variety of topics including marketing data and small business.