Content marketing is so broad that it eludes definition even by its most ardent practitioners, but the term includes essentially any form of content (a Facebook post, a celebrity Q&A, a feature-length documentary) created by or on behalf of a brand with the hope that it will attract an audience on its own merits—as opposed to traditional advertising, which has the far smaller ambition of gaining notice from a captive audience before the ad break ends, or the page gets flipped, and the real content begins. - See more at: http://www.cjr.org/cover_story/should_journalism_worry_about.php?page=all#sthash.FBfkbBDX.dpuf
... BuzzFeed was a pioneer of native ads, and in doing so created a new kind of media company that functions as a hybrid of news publisher and ad agency. BuzzFeed employs an editorial team of more than 200 to produce everything from foreign coverage to funny quizzes, and a creative team of 65 that produces work in BuzzFeed’s editorial sensibility on behalf of corporate clients. Native ads are seen by some as a natural progression for publishers seeking new ways to connect their audience with advertisers, and by others as journalism selling its last point of distinction to the highest bidder. The debate is ongoing among everyone, it seems, but journalism CEOs: Virtually every major publisher is now pursuing native advertising in some form. The genre has had both success stories (The New York Times’ explainer on women in prison on behalf of the Netflix show Orange is the New Black), and failures (The Atlantic’s advertorial love letter to the Church of Scientology). But one day soon, native advertising may be recalled as a quaint evolutionary step, as brands are increasingly comfortable simply reaching an audience themselves.