Do the most damage you can. Use utility spells for utility.
In fact often the best strategy is the same as with ADs, hit whatever is closest anyways, because staying alive is still the most important thing. However, as APs are cooldown dependent, there are situations where you can sacrifice safety for a significant boost in damage because once an AP's cooldowns are down they are expendable for a period of time. If you know you can get several combos off in a fight, then don't go rambo and die after the first combo and only getting damage off once. For example, Vlad, you want to drag the fight out as long as humanly possible because you want the damage to stack up more and more while you heal more and more. However, if you know the chances of you getting only one combo off is really high or you only need one combo to be meaningful in a fight, then be a bit more aggressive and just wait for a chance to get that combo off for maximal effect. For example if you're Brand, once your spells are on cooldown you are completely expendable for a good 8 seconds, as well as basically useless. So instead of trying to stay alive as long as possible, look for a good opportunity to get the greatest combo off. However, this does not mean going rambo and dying unnecessarily. For example Katarina, you have to wait for the perfect moment to fight so you can do the most damage without dying.