The sought-after “blue check” helps boost brand awareness and customer engagement, but how exactly can you get one? While applying for Instagram verification is simple, qualifying for it is not as straight-forward.
Here is everything you need to know about the process of Instagram verification:
What Is Instagram Verification?
Instagram verification is available for any person, brand, or business and is displayed as a blue badge with a checkmark inside it. This badge tells users that the account is authentic, and not a copy-cat or imposter. Here is how a verification badge appears on a profile:
Instagram defines verified accounts as having an “authentic presence of a notable public figure, celebrity, or global brand” and “represent(s) a well-known, highly searched for person, brand, or entity”.
Once you have the verification badge next to your account’s name, this checkmark will show up in Instagram searches, on your profile and even embedded posts!
Why Instagram Verification Matters
Besides looking cool, Instagram verification provides public figures, brands and businesses certain benefits that un-verified accounts don’t experience.
The most common reason accounts apply for verification is to confirm that they are the official account of a brand or business. Once verified, you will experience less competition with imposter accounts and create a sense of notoriety around your brand.
While this is a key factor in improving your online presence, verification also gives you access to a profitable Instagram feature? Instagram Story links. Although this is available to all accounts with over 10,000 followers, Instagram verification is a great way to get access to this feature without a huge following.
By having the ability to add links to your Instagram Stories, a whole new marketing opportunity is created. You can now use authentic (and strategized) content to link viewers to sponsored links, landing pages, product listings.
Tip: Make sure to use UTM tracking in your links so that you can track the success of each link posted. Need Instagram Story help? Check out these do’s and don’ts.
How To Apply For Instagram Verification
Applying for Instagram verification is fairly simple and can be done right in the app. Here are the steps (with pictures) to apply for Instagram verification:
1. Visit your profile and tap the hamburger menu in top right corner.
2. Go to “Settings”
3. Go to “Account”
4. Tap “Request Verification”
5. Fill out the verification form, which will include your full name, professional name, and which category you best belong to. Categories include: news/media, sports, government, blogger/influencer, business/brand/organization, other.
6. Upload (1) government ID that shows your name and date of birth and (2) business documents “if you are a brand or business” such as a tax return or utility bill.
Instagram Verification Best Practices
Applying for Instagram verification is straight forward, but making sure your account qualifies is where the work comes in. Recently, Instagram has become more transparent about what they look for during the verification process.
We’ve collected the best practices for obtaining Instagram verification and have listed them down below:
- Be original and authentic: Only one account per person and business can be verified. Examples of non-authentic accounts include: Fan accounts, feature accounts, and imposter/knock off accounts.
- Optimize your account: Instagram will only verify public accounts, so make sure you are not set to private. Also make sure that your bio is filled out and up to date, you have a profile picture uploaded, and have at least one photo posted.
- Build your following: While no follower count is needed for verification, Instagram will deny accounts that are not “notable enough”. Building up your following is key in making sure you are considered notable. If you aren’t high-profile, Instagram won’t think you are likely to be impersonated, and therefore, won’t see the necessity for a verification.
- Do not cross-promote: Instagram has stated that it will not verify accounts that link to other social media accounts in their bio.
- Keep trying: Didn’t pass the approval process? You can apply again 30 days after being denied.
By following these best practices and remaining consistent with your social media marketing efforts, that blue check will be yours before you know it!