How to use PR for Instagram Verification
For the unfamiliar, the coveted blue tick (or checkmark) tells the platform’s 1.44 billion monthly active users that an Instagram account is officially verified.
This is a big deal, as securing Instagram verification not only gives you more control over your online presence by ensuring your profile is the only one representing your business – it can also give your page’s credibility, visibility, and engagement a healthy boost.
Getting verified on Instagram isn’t easy, but it’s possible, with the help of public relations.
This post will give you all the information you need to utilise PR for Instagram verification.
Ready to get Insta-official? Let’s get stuck in.
What is Instagram verification?
A verified Instagram account is one that is confirmed by the platform to be trustworthy. In other words, the tick confirms that the account belongs to the company or the individual that it says it does.
The idea behind it is to help the platform’s billions of users sniff out scam accounts and ensure they’re following the real deal.
The good news? You don’t have to be a global icon like Nike with a large PR agency for Instagram verification.
Okay, but who do you need to be? Let’s look at the guidelines to find out.
The Instagram rules
So, what do the powers that be expect from a blue tick-eligible IG account? Authenticity, uniqueness, completeness, and notability, according to Instagram’s help section.
For clarity’s sake, this means an account must be:
- Authentic: represent a real person, business, or organisation.
- Unique: represent the unique presence of an individual or group.
- Complete: be public and complete with bio and photograph.
- Notable: represent a well-known, highly searched for individual, brand, or organisation.
On that last point, bear in mind, that news sources are reviewed by Instagram. Paid or sponsored content won’t be considered for review.
This is where PR comes into the equation. Those news sources aren’t going to appear out of nowhere. You’ve got to get your public relations hat on and boost your profile through earned media coverage.
PR for Instagram verification
If you were to Google you or your brand right now, what would you find? Has your brand featured in multiple news sources? Has one of your press releases or white papers been picked up by a top-tier trade magazine?
When you apply for verification on the app, you have the option of adding article URLs, social media channels and other links to show that your account is ‘in the public interest’ and deserves to be adorned with that precious symbol of authenticity.
If PR hasn’t been a priority for your brand up until now, you’ll have difficulty proving to the powers that be that you’re ‘notable.’
But fear not. This isn’t the be all and end all. It’s never too late to level up your public relations efforts. If you’ve recently started to garner mainstream attention, or have a huge announcement planned, capitalise on it. Apply for that checkmark while your name is a hot topic.
Just bear in mind, despite what some PR articles for Instagram verification may say, you cannot buy your way in.
For those of you at the beginning of your public relations journey looking for ideas to raise your profile, here are seven things you can do to grow your media presence with PR.
7 ways to use PR for Instagram verification
1. Start locally, grow nationally
If your business has yet to gain widespread national recognition, landing your latest press release in The Daily Mail or The Times is not going to be an easy task. Unless, of course, your company has done something truly ground-breaking.You’re better off starting small and working your way up to the big boys.
In the first instance, hit up local newspapers, blogs, and regional business trade publications for coverage.
Don’t underestimate the worth of landing news in smaller, more niche sources. A blog with a growing and committed audience is valuable PR for businesses looking to make an impact. The bigger news suppliers will be more likely to take notice once you’ve got your name published a few times elsewhere.
Need a little guidance on landing your name in regional publications? Read: How to Get Local Media Coverage.
2. Trade business knowledge for column inches
Whatever industry you’re in, there’ll be multiple magazines and online news sources dedicated to covering it.
Trade publications provide sector-specific news to businesses working in a particular industry. They have a captive audience who want to stay up to date with what companies like yours are up to.
But it’s not just industry news they’re hungry for. They want insight too.
As a professional business owner, you have knowledge and skills that others in your sector can benefit from. If you’re willing to share your expertise, business journalists are willing to listen.
Prove yourself as an authority in your industry by giving an interview, releasing a whitepaper, writing an engaging editorial article or an industry-relevant opinion piece. Any, or all of these will help boost your public profile and get you a step closer to Insta-verification.
3. Radio, steady, go
Want to be heard? Get yourself on the radio.
Studies have revealed that 40 million adults tune into digital radio every week. That’s 80 million attentive ears.
You’ve got plenty of options: national, local, community and even hospital radio. Not to mention the endless supply of online stations.
Once again, start small. Hit up the regionals and community stations, build a rapport with your local presenters and offer yourself up for interviews. If you have news worth sharing, they’ll give you some airtime.
What’s more, we’re living in the age of instant global connectivity. You probably won’t even have to go into the studio. You can call in from the comfort of your sofa via Zoom or Teams, allowing for multiple interviews with multiple stations across the country throughout the day.
Before you know it, you’ll have reached thousands of ears and your brand awareness will have gone through the roof. All without hours of tedious motorway driving.
High productivity, low fuel consumption. That’s a PR win in itself.
4. Be social media savvy
Don’t forget to be active on social media as you hunt for press coverage and airplay. Instagram is a social media platform, after all.
Remember, a complete profile is one of the must-haves if you’re serious about landing yourself a blue tick. Regular posting is a big contributor to a complete profile.
While visible activity on Insta is a priority, don’t neglect your other social channels. A wide-reaching digital presence will increase your verification chances.
And don’t worry about being present on every platform. That’s time consuming and unsustainable. Just go where your target audience is.
Wherever you find yourself, be sure to maintain consistent branding across all channels – and link them together to create a seamless digital profile.
5. Be ‘reel’ with your content
Authenticity is important to the consumers of today. In fact, 88% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. So, be sure the brand image you present on social media is genuine.
Modern consumers are also a fickle bunch. Vary the types of content you share to keep your channels fresh and engaging. Text posts, images, videos, carousels, polls. The more audience interaction you get, the more influential you become.
It’s worth noting that Instagram (and its Meta brother, Facebook) are putting a lot of stock in Reels, in an attempt to fend off the competition from Gen Z’s favourite online haunt, TikTok.
It’s been a successful endeavour. The feature accounts for 20% of time spent on Instagram, which means it’s making the platform’s owners money.
So, if you post Reels regularly, you’re going to see higher engagement than from posting regular image posts.
How does digital public relations differ from traditional methods? Find out by reading: What is Digital PR?
6. Under the influencer
Social media influencers. They’re the online equivalent of Hollywood A-listers. If you can get pally with one of them, you’re well away.
Who’s got more sway to get you Insta-verified than a popular Instagram influencer with millions of followers? Apart from Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, possibly.
Connect with some of the big influencers in your line of work. Engage with them, cater to their egos, and reap the sweet rewards.
Even if they don’t reciprocate the love, your name will be seen by at least a few of their avid followers. The extra brand awareness will increase your level of notoriety, which is the name of the game when it comes to PR for Instagram verification.
7. Awards for rewards
How else can you prove your brand’s notability to the Instagram jury? An award.
Winning an award will not only boost your ego, it’ll positively impact public perception of your brand and establish you as a credible industry leader.
Perfect PR for Instagram verification as it won’t go unnoticed by the verification gods.
There’s no shortage of UK business awards to enter. Here’s a few for starters:
- UK Business & Innovation Awards: Celebrating the resilience of UK businesses and their ability to push the limits of best practices and innovation
- British Business Excellence Awards: The Lloyds Bank British Business Excellence Awards celebrate resilience, innovation, and creativity within the UK business community
- British Small Business Awards: Recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements of British SMEs (small and medium-sized businesses).
An award-winning business or business leader is notable. So, think about submitting your company (or yourself) when the awards season rolls around.
Just think how great the award ceremony pictures will look on your Insta profile.
Instagram verification. Is it worth it?
Instagram verification is not easy to secure. You’ve got to put in some public relations work to stand a chance of getting that badge of honour. Even then there are no guarantees.
Is it really worth the effort?
The short answer is yes. Here’s why:
Authority, credibility, and trustworthiness
A blue tick next to your name will stand out and catch the attention of those scrolling aimlessly through their feed. They’re more likely to stop, hit like, comment, or view your profile.
The more user engagement your profile receives, the more authoritative it’ll become. From here, your channel will become more credible and trustworthy. And trust and credibility are a business’ best friends.
Neither spam nor scam
The blue tick also separates your legitimate account from potential fake accounts trying to benefit from your good name.
It will assure your followers that they’re viewing an official profile and help them avoid getting duped by unscrupulous spammers and scammers.
First impressions count
The credibility and trust that comes with a tick is not only a draw for the general public. Other businesses and investors will be more at ease doing business with you if you have a verified account.
Of course, verification isn’t a sure-fire road to dramatic business growth. But it does add an extra layer of credibility to your brand. And that’s a good thing.
PR Agency Instagram Verification
Now you know the ins and outs of how public relations can help you get a blue tick for your account, are you ready to take the plunge?
If so, bear in mind it won’t be instantaneous, but it’ll be worth the effort to get one.