When it comes to social media marketing, it seems like everything can now be bought.

Because platforms like Instagram and Facebook have been around for so long, many users have figured out how to “game” the system and buy followers, likes, and comments.

However, one thing that can’t be bought (except maybe on the black market), is the elusive Instagram verification badge. Verification is one of the most coveted symbols in the social media world — it gives you special perks, notoriety, and credibility on the platform.

The trouble is, figuring out how to get Instagram verification isn’t all that simple. In today’s post, we’re going to go over everything you need to get verified on Instagram.

What Does it Mean to Get Verified on Instagram?

Have you noticed a little blue checkmark next to some of your favorite celebrities’ account names on Instagram? That little mark is their account verification — which means that Instagram recognizes them as an authentic, notable, and unique account.

When you see the check on Ed Sheeran’s profile you know you’re actually following the loveable red-headed musician and not just some crazy fan page.

According to Instagram, “A verified badge is a check that appears next to an Instagram account’s name in search and on the profile. It means Instagram has confirmed that an account is the authentic presence of the public figure, celebrity or global brand it represents.”

The verification badge on Instagram was created to protect accounts from imposters. Celebrities, influential people, and business are often victims of impersonators and copycats. The blue badge tells their followers that the account they’re following is the real deal.

Verification on Instagram is also highly coveted because it has become a symbol of status. If you’re verified on Instagram it generally means you’re an important and recognized person or brand.

Who Gets Verified on Instagram?

With the new updates, anyone can apply for verification on Instagram. However, not everyone’s application will be approved.

Only Instagram accounts that have a high likelihood of being impersonated have verification badges. This generally means that you must be a public figure, celebrity, or global brand.

According to Instagram’s help page, your account also needs to be:

  • Authentic: Your account must represent a real person, registered business or entity.
  • Unique: Your account must be the unique presence of the person or business it represents. Only one account per person or business may be verified, with exceptions for language-specific accounts. They don’t verify general interest accounts (example: @puppymemes).
  • Complete: Your account must be public and have a bio, profile photo, and at least one post. Your profile can’t contain “add me” links to other social media services.
  • Notable: Your account must represent a well-known, highly searched for person, brand or entity. Instagram reviews accounts that are featured in multiple news sources, and they don’t consider paid or promotional content as sources for review.

Not sure if you’re notable enough to get verified on Instagram? Try Google-ing yourself and see what pops up. If there’s no information there about you, there’s nothing for Instagram to verify.

Keep in mind that Instagram verification is reviewed by a real person — it’s not an algorithm or robot deciding if you’re worthy of it. Real employees review every request manually and if they can’t dig up any information about you you’re not going to have much of a shot.

Start working on your digital presence on other platforms outside of Instagram. Work with a PR agency, post on other social media platforms, or try to get interviewed in online publications.

Do You Need a Massive Following to Get Verified?

Many articles about Instagram Verification say that you need to have a very large following to get verified. However, that’s not necessarily true.

Yes, generally global brands and highly recognizable public figures will have large followings. However, that’s not necessarily the reason they are getting verified.

The point of Instagram verification is to show people that they’re interacting with the right person or brand. If you have thousands of followers on Instagram and no accounts that could possibly clones, then you won’t be seen as a high priority for Instagram verification.

Some articles even suggest that you should focus on growing other platforms in order to get verification on Instagram. The reason for this is that if you build your brand on Instagram, and collect thousands of followers over several years, people will know your account very well on Instagram. You can easily be found in search results and it is unlikely that clone accounts will be successful in impersonating you.

If you have a smaller account, and your brand is easily recognized from other platforms, verification would be a good way Instagram can help people find you.

What Are The Benefits of Instagram Verification?

Does the blue badge really get you anything worthwhile? Actually — it does! There are some really cool benefits to getting verified on Instagram that can help your business a lot.

Here are a few reasons to seek verification on Instagram:

  1. Build trust with your audience and protect yourself from imposter accounts. If you’re a brand, your audience will recognize you as a legitimate business just from the little blue check next to your username. If you’re an influencer, you can protect yourself from getting impersonated by getting verified. Having that little badge will reassure your followers that you’re the real deal — and a big deal!
  2. Get noticed more. There’s no official statement from Instagram that the algorithm favors verified accounts. However, when you look at the comment section of any post, comments by verified accounts often show up near the top. You also get placed at the top of search results. This implies that Instagram is favoring those accounts and getting their comments and posts seen more.

How to Get Verified on Instagram

The good news is that just about anyone can apply for verification on Instagram — and it’s actually pretty simple.

  1. Click on the menu of your Instagram profile.
  2. Click on the “Settings” symbol.
  3. Select “Request Verification”.
  4. Enter your full name, what you’re “known as”, and the category of your account (media, brand, influencer, etc.)
  5. Upload a photo of your personal ID if you’re a personal account, or a legal business ID if you’re a business.
  6. Hit “Send”

What happens after you apply for a verified badge? Once Instagram has reviewed your request, you’ll receive a notification letting you know if your account has been verified or not. If your verification request is denied, you can apply again after 30 days.

Final Thoughts

Just like anything else in the online marketing realm, you are going to need to work hard to get verified on Instagram. If Instagram verification is your goal, you need to work at it every day. Focus on growing your following on other platforms, gaining recognition as a unique voice or brand in your field, and keep applying.

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t get verified the first time around. Verification is not just reserved for celebrities and giant corporations. It’s very possible to get verified with a smaller following and some hard work and conscious effort.