Instagram verification is notoriously difficult to achieve. Since the blue badge is typically reserved for celebrities, public figures, and big brands, the platform is exceedingly selective where it comes to granting verification.
Alongside other requirements – such as a complete, authentic profile – you need to have a strong media presence to have any hope of getting verified. As Instagram puts it, you need to be ‘noteworthy’ – which is to say, a person or entity generating public interest, being interviewed, written about, and generally sought out by a broad audience.
In order to prove that you are indeed noteworthy enough to merit verification, you need to provide links to at least ten publications. These could be features about you in the press and/or on online news outlets, or any kind of mention of who you are and what you do in the media. However, it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not only the quantity of your press mentions, but also the quality of the publications that can make or break your verification application.
Strong vs weak publications: what’s the difference?
Essentially, the difference between strong and weak publications is the difference between Forbes magazine and your local newspaper. As you can imagine, a Forbes feature would matter a lot more to the person at Instagram reviewing your verification request.
Strong publications, therefore, are those that are well-known, with a global reach and a stellar reputation. Weak publications, in the context of Instagram verification, would include local press that doesn’t reach a broad audience and doesn’t specialise in a specific niche.
In terms of websites, again the highest-quality sources will be platforms that have a level of authority in their field. Gossip sites are not going to be taken as seriously as a reputable news site in your niche.
The content of your media coverage matters
As well as the outlets in which your coverage is published, Instagram will be considering the content of the articles. For a publication to be strong in this context, it should meet three primary requirements.
First of all, the text of the article needs to be relevant to your Instagram branding. If you market yourself as a fashion influencer on your Instagram, but sources describe you as a front-end programmer (perhaps from former employment), this will call the authenticity of your brand and your Instagram account into question.
Secondly, the content should position you in a positive light. Perhaps this could go without saying, but not everyone realises that each Instagram verification request is reviewed by a physical person, not a bot. So, whoever considers your application will read through your media sources and draw conclusions.
Lastly, the content should be of a high quality, consistent with that of the magazine or platform in general. Poor spelling or structure wouldn’t be allowed in high-end publications like the Entrepreneur or Forbes, but factual or language errors can still accidentally make their way into less prestigious magazines and onto websites. Poor quality of the sources’ content will arouse suspicion and may lead to the verification request being rejected.
It’s also important to note that if the content is obviously sponsored (by you or your brand), Instagram will not consider it a reliable source. Even if you pass the verification process, Instagram reserves the right to remove your verified badge at any time if they find something amiss.
How to get strong publications
If you’re already a public figure or a relatively large brand, you can start by putting out a press release at an opportune moment – for instance, at launch of a new product or campaign. This should generate some buzz around you or your company and give you an ‘in’ for interviews, though you’ll probably still need to reach out to editors and actively look for media opportunities.
Alternatively – particularly if you don’t know where to start or have no media experience – you can hire an agency like Famous Influencer to improve your media presence.
As an established PR agency, we have plenty of existing connections with editors at top publications, as well as a skilled team of content producers. With the right angle and some basic information from you, we can take care of your media promotion and ensure that your media coverage is more than enough to get you verified on Instagram.