Four Core Tenets of Online Advertising

Online advertising has some of the most impressive scientific and technological advancements in human history. Yet, businesses and individuals alike still have no idea how to simplify the thinking around this complex ecosystem. For those of us who know that online advertising cannot just be broken down into 4 core tenets, please bear with us as we try to inject some simplicity and art form into this very scientific activity.

It was not long ago that the Internet reached critical mass and is penetrating daily lives with smart phones, tablets, laptops, wearables, smart TVs, the Internet of things (IOT), and the list goes on and on. We, as humans, are still inundated with daily advertising and might believe that we can resist, but human nature will not allow us. So, we, at Brick, decided to show you four core tenets that really help our clients reach their goals of increasing visibility, awareness, web traffic, inbound leads and of course sales.

This is a very focused way to look at the steps to take when advertising online.


Creative can be described in many ways, but we’ll focus on display ads which can include 12 sizes for all websites, plus Facebook & Instagram.

  • Use your brand style guidelines when constructing display ads. Make sure your brand stands out and looks good.
  • Keep your brand crisp and clean. Drop any tagline or slogan that does not fit and use only your logo or name. These are small ads and taking up valuable real estate for your tagline or slogan may take away from the message you are trying to deliver
  • Elegance is important. Do not go overboard with colors, background images, text, flashing, etc. This ad will be shown on very well-known websites. Make it look like you belong on these websites, so it appears you are part of the content.


  • The message should always include three components
    • Brand – Your name and logo
    • Advertising message – A strong concise message that supports your call to action
    • Call to Action – What would you like the person who sees your ad do? This should be a very specific action to ensure high click through rate.
  • If William Shakespeare was designing banner ads, his famous quote “Brevity is the soul of wit” provides us the guidance we need


A good thing to think about when it comes to your audience is POEM. Paid Media, Owned Media, and Earned Media. Link in footer for more information. This is an acronym that we use often in the digital space.

Owned Media Audience

  • Email Lists, Text Lists, CRM Lists
  • Social Visitors
  • Website visitors
  • Retargeting – Fits in Owned and Paid

Paid Media Audience

  • Retargeting – Primarily fits in Paid media when using
    • Most valuable audience who has currently visited your website, clicked on an ad or will click on your website in the future.
  • Audience Extension – These are people who have similar characteristics
  • Keywords – These are keywords that people use or may use to find your website and they can be used in search advertising and display advertising by targeting keywords on webpages. Super new technology that reads the page before placing your display ad.
  • Custom audiences – These are audiences that you can create using your business goals and objectives. Brick helps you to determine which custom audiences are good for your business. Each platform is different.

Earned Media

  • SEO – Getting better with organic results is a form of earned media. When paid and owned strategies work together, your SEO gets better.
  • Online visibility of your brand increases with a good Paid media strategy
  • The goodwill of your brand is just like earned media
  • There is much more to strive for in the earned media world, but let’s just say that you typically influence it and do not control it 100%.


Where can I place my ads online?

  • Xandr – Brick’s preferred exchange – High impact and visibility – Can attain branding and direct response goals
    • Display Ads
    • Online Radio and Audio
    • Video including pre-roll
    • Connected and Over the Top TV – CTV and OTT
  • Google Ads
    • Search – High intent
    • YouTube – Must go direct
    • Shopping – Product ads that show up in google search
    • Display – This is covered with Xandr
  • Facebook – The highest dwell time on the internet
    • Facebook
    • Instagram

Want to learn more? Contact us at sales(at)

Helpful Links

What’s the difference between Owned, Earned and Paid?

What is Online advertising?

What is Xandr?