With attention spans shortening, channels multiplying, and marketplaces overcrowding, brands are now left facing a near herculean task: getting (and keeping) consumers’ attention.

In pursuit of that goal, some marketers will dive into new markets to drum up sales, while others will explore new media outlets. There will be those who take on more extreme positions in an attempt to stand out. And yes, you can implement any of these tactics with varying degrees of success — or you can opt for a more hypertargeted approach with a community marketing strategy.

Community marketing is a niche marketing strategy in which brands tailor messaging around local consumers — “local” being somewhat of a misnomer, in this case. Though local can refer to a geographic area, Mitchell’s proprietary research shows that younger consumers increasingly define locality by shared interests. (In fact, 74% of young people don’t use geography at all to describe their community.)

How you use community marketing to garner attention will vary by target community. Naturally, what resonates with technophiles won’t necessarily resonate with makeup enthusiasts, but authenticity is essential to any community marketing strategy. You can’t capture a community’s attention when you don’t believe in the meaning behind your messaging. That’s the importance of brand authenticity. Keep the following in mind as you create a community marketing campaign.

1. Embrace the niche.

For years, gaining mass-market appeal through generalized campaigns was the name of the game. Today’s savvy brand marketers know they can make more of an impact in niche communities, where fans are more passionate and competition from other brands is less fierce. Plus, targeting a niche community allows you to safely solicit feedback and test riskier ideas before rolling them out broadly. Think about it this way: If an idea doesn’t resonate with the “locals,” it probably won’t resonate with larger audiences, either.

2. Do your homework.

Any community marketing strategy worth its salt begins with proper research. Make sure you’re employing a mix of traditional and social research methods. And above all, engage in real conversations with influential community members. You don’t want your community marketing efforts to come across as obtuse or insensitive — which is arguably worse than being ignored altogether.

3. Build relationships with community influencers.

Younger consumers can be somewhat cynical about traditional advertising. In fact, 74% of Gen Zers and Millennials don’t want brands to target them on their social media feeds. Such efforts lack the authenticity they seek. When it comes to influencer marketing, however, these same consumers feel differently, with 92% indicating that they trust influencer endorsements more than regular ads.

With a community influencer marketing campaign, “influencers” don’t need to be social media stars. Instead, choose people with powerful voices in your target community: civic leaders, coaches, members of a self-select social group, or niche influencers within an online community.

4. Invest in customization.

Just as you can use a community as an incubator to grow niche campaigns, you can also take broad national campaigns and make them more relevant to specific communities. Customize a community marketing initiative on a local level to increase its relevancy and foster a deeper connection with the target audience.

When taking a community-based approach to marketing, you’re speaking to far fewer people than a national campaign. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Community marketing allows you to establish deeper customer relationships, increase brand visibility within a target community, and drum up word-of-mouth support. So get your messaging in front of the right people, and leave the heavy-lifting to those consumers trust most: other people.