More businesses than ever are using content strategists to plan their marketing campaigns. These experts come up with ideas that capture the attention of customers, turning them into brand loyalists.

However, not every person who falls under the label "content strategist" has the qualifications necessary to create a winning campaign. Whether you're pulling in a consultant or a salaried employee to do the work, it's important to know what skills to screen for during the hiring process. Here are some features that can identify the best content strategists.

1. Strives to Learn Your Audience

Ideally, a candidate will show up for your interview with a firm grasp of your target market, possibly even giving you details you didn't realize. Even if not, though, your ideal strategist may ask exploratory questions during the interview that indicate an interest in getting to know your customer base. Once hired, a content strategist will spend a great deal of time studying and marketing to these consumers, so look for someone who seems to have a grasp of this part of the process.

2. Cares About Your Goals

Before presenting a strategy, a good content strategist will learn as much as possible about your business's goals. This can include your overall goals as well as your short-term hopes for any marketing campaigns you might want to plan. During the initial interview, give extra points to candidates who ask these types of questions.

3. Has Past Experience

Often the best indicator of talent in a content strategist is past experience. Closely review each candidate's past experience and research those campaigns online. You may be able to determine how much of a reach each post had by using one of the many tools out there. While some posts will perform better due to their nature, you can often identify a track record of successes by using this method.

4. Aces Behavioral Questions

There are certain personality traits that can help a content strategist succeed, including curiosity and communication skills. Use behavioral interview questions to get to the root of a candidate's personality. You'll also be able to learn more about how they've handled past situations such as a campaign that wasn't working or a project that was on a tight schedule. If the candidate is a recent graduate who has not yet gained experience in the field, turn those behavioral questions to how they would handle particular situations, rather than how they managed them in the past.

5. Brings Samples of Past Campaigns

Hiring a content strategist requires taking a leap of faith that the hire will be able to follow through on all of the promises listed on a resume. Fortunately, some strategists will have a portfolio showcasing past projects, whether they were completed in college, during an internship, or while in a previous position. Ask candidates to bring examples of past work to the interview.

6. Has a Strong Social Media Presence

Even if a candidate isn't currently employed as a content strategist, there should be a strong social media presence. Review each candidate's Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn pages. At the very least, your future marketing professional should be comfortable using these platforms and ideally, that person will have a strong following on each of these sites.

If your business is in the process of hiring a content strategist, spend as much time as possible identifying what your business goals are and what you hope to accomplish with your upcoming campaigns. That will help any candidates discuss those goals with you during the interview and let you know whether they're the right fit for your business. It may take a while, but in time, you may find the perfect strategist to help you grow your business.