Your mother was wrong: looks do matter. Integrating compelling visuals into your content marketing can help attract prospects and keep them engaged. In this week’s digest, read about how the Economist is boosting its investment in digital media, including more graphically oriented platforms. Learn which factors affect the digital news experience and discover how YouTube changes could create new marketing opportunities. Plus, get three tips for creating eye-popping visuals, see how connected devices will change the future of marketing, and find out why achieving the right mix of skills is essential for successful tech content marketing.

Awareness Over Viral Hits: Inside The Economist’s Social Media Strategy
By Liam Corcoran at NewsWhip
The Economist has more than 3.8 million print readers, but the magazine isn’t resting on its print success. By investing new resources in social media and mobile platforms—with a strong emphasis on visuals—the publication is rapidly expanding its following throughout the world. Read Corcoran’s interview with the Economist’s Community Editor, Denise Law, for an inside view of the magazine’s image-rich social content strategy.

Which Factors Affect the Digital News Experience Most For Consumers?
MarketingCharts Staff Report
Where do you get your digital news? And how important are site loading, ad placement, and other factors in your selection of a digital news source? This blog post and accompanying chart draw on research from the Media Insight Project to highlight the primary elements that can affect your digital news experience. The study also shows that roughly half of Americans are consuming news from social media, though not all social media platforms are equally trusted.

YouTube’s redesigned app uses machine learning to recommend better videos
By Natt Garun at The Next Web
Why does YouTube keep recommending that you watch cat videos? It’s probably because you like them—a lot. YouTube’s redesigned app, which will show you larger thumbnails of cat videos and other recommendations, is generated using a deep neural network technology that looks at your search and watch patterns. The design changes should not only improve the user experience but also offer savvy marketers with video content new opportunities to better capture audience attention.

YouTube debuts a 6-second ad format you can’t skip, so start working on your patience
By Natt Garun at The Next Web
Adding one extra second to those short YouTube ads probably won’t drive anyone away—at least that’s what YouTube is hoping. The company is adding a second to its “bumper” ads before viewers can click the Skip button. For marketers, that extra second could help draw in more people to specific content.

3 tips for eye-popping visuals
By Brian Pittman at Ragan’s PR Daily
Most content marketers agree: incorporating good photography and video can help enhance storytelling and improve audience engagement. See if your agency meets expectations by reviewing Pittman’s suggestions for visual best practices.

What Strategic Programs Will Define Marketing Departments in 2020?
MarketingCharts Staff Report
According to a survey of 499 marketers by the Economist Intelligence Unit, a majority of CMOs believe connected objects and devices will have the greatest impact on marketing by 2020. Ultimately, these connected things will help marketers own the end-to-end customer experience. This blog post and chart from MarketingCharts depicts these and other anticipated changes ahead.

Do your tech content marketers have all of these essential skills?
By Paul Carlstrom at TDA Group
Getting beautiful results from technology content marketing requires a unique mix of skills. Mastery of technology, marketing strategy, and communications is critical for creating content that turns prospects into paying customers. Carlstrom’s blog post explains why each component plays such a vital role in success—and tells what to look for in selecting tech content marketing employees and vendors.