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Channels & Placement


Digital advertising terms don't have to be overwhelming. Check out our digital glossary to quickly look-up important definitions.

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Channels & Placement

Marketers use multiple digital channels and methods to reach consumers. Here's an overview of the different media types and how marketers use them to convey their brand message.

What is digital inventory and what are the different channels?

Digital inventory is the space a publisher makes available for advertisements on its platform and/or properties. Digital advertisers can purchase inventory across a range of channels:

Types Digital Marketing Channels Search Social Video Mobile


Search differs from all other channels in the audience's intent and the way and the way they discover the ad.

When someone comes across a search ad, it means they have triggered the advertisement by searching for a related term. So, a search ad is dependent on the user's search/browsing history and intention. On the other hand, display, mobile, video and social ads are presented to anyone within a targeted demographic or visiting a particular site.


Most publisher inventory can be categorized as either premium or remnant.

Premium inventory is the most visible space a publisher has to offer, and therefore the most desired. Traditional print advertising terms such as “above the fold” (considered premium) now also apply to websites. Most video and mobile inventory is considered premium. However, what is considered premium inventory often differs depending on the intent of the campaign and type of purchasing involved.

Remnant inventory is the space considered less desirable, often “below the fold” and/or sold as run-of-site (rather than as a specified placement) normally used to bulk up campaign impressions once the budget for premium inventory has been decided upon.

Inventory is also categorized as guaranteed or non-guaranteed.

Guaranteed inventory ensures that an ad will be delivered to the number of purchased impressions. Guaranteed inventory can be purchased through an RFP (request for proposal), or can be purchased at a fixed price with just a few clicks. (Until very recently, submitting an RFP was the only option.) The latter option, known as “programmatic direct” or “automated guaranteed,” is a faster way to purchase and repurchase premium inventory.

Non-guaranteed inventory refers to the space a publisher offers with no guaranteed number of impressions. This can occur when a publisher does not reach the number of impressions planned within a specific range of dates matching a marketer's target criteria. Non-guaranteed inventory often includes remnant inventory purchased through RTB (real-time bidding) and inventory available via programmatic purchasing.