In a world of ad-blocking software and online reviews, there’s little doubt that today’s marketing environment is driven by consumers. Knowing how to communicate with your customers is part of succeeding in today’s marketplace, and savvy brands have found that influencers are often the key to sparking a genuine conversation. So how do you choose the right influencers? Through working with countless brands and bloggers on influencer marketing collaborations, I have found that the most successful brands do three simple things:

1. They look beyond the blogger to their whole community.

Many factors can affect an influencer’s following on social media, and not all followers are created equal. Really look at a blogger’s whole community to get the best picture of their influence. Do followers give lots of likes and comments to the influencer, but appear indifferent toward the products they post? Does the influencer appear genuinely enthusiastic about the collaboration? Do you see an influence on their followers’ feeds? You never want your brand to appear as an advertisement when working with influencers, so it’s really important to make sure the follower community is a fit.

2. They ask to see Google Analytics.

If you’re like most modern diners, you probably don’t visit a restaurant without first reading the menu, checking reviews, and getting a sense of the atmosphere. You want to know their typical customer and if you fit. And yet many brands choose to work with influencers with only a vague idea of who their audience actually is. Since your blogger’s audience — the thousands of potential customers they are influencing — is what you’re ultimately trying to attract, you don’t want to leave who they are up to chance. This is why we encourage all bloggers on our platform to tie their Google Analytics to their profile. It gives brands a true sense of whether their followers are male or female, local or international, and how much time they spend on the site.

3. They track more than just sales.

Successful brands know a collaboration doesn’t end after the influencer’s last post. Tracking results is key to understanding how to work with bloggers and what ideas work best for your brand. In addition to the ultimate success (how many new sales you can track to the collab), you need clear short-term goals. Whether you want to boost your web traffic or add more consumers to your mailing list, establishing a clear ROI for each goal helps you determine what you’re doing right and what to improve in the next campaign.

Ultimately, working with influencers is about a relationship. Brands who keep this idea central to all their efforts will find the greatest success with influencer marketing.