Digital verification is a hot topic these days.
Plenty of recent headlines have focused on a social media SNAFU that almost single-handedly sunk the credibility of the blue verification checkmark offered by Twitter – and to some degree its equivalent on Facebook and Instagram, by association.
Previously a symbol of trustworthiness, the check has plummeted in value and purpose.
Are there gems to mine from the wreckage for marketers and businesses? Ehh.
For their part, Facebook and Instagram have boarded the verification subscription bandwagon via Meta Verified, and mileage has varied. But is an assortment of bells & whistles – like exclusive stickers and bonus “stars” – truly worth forking over an additional $11.99 to $14.99 per month? Given the controversy and the politicizing surrounding Twitter Blue and the relative infancy of Meta Verified – should your business even bother?
We don’t think so.
Instead, we recommend focusing on digital verification that matters.
For our clients, that’s hands down Google Advertiser Verification.
Consolidating identity and business operations verification in a single flow, Google Advertiser Verification was launched to mitigate fraud and provide a “safe and trustworthy ad ecosystem for users.”
As part of this process, every business advertising on Google must verify their own Ad Account or risk having their ads paused.
If billing runs through your ad agency (i.e., you pay them and they pay Google), then the agency needs to lead the verification. But since we don’t play that game (our clients pay Google directly and we charge only for our time and expertise), our clients perform the verification themselves. The great news? The process for individual Google verification is very quick and easy. Simply log into your Google Ads Account using the associated Gmail address, click on Tools and Settings, then Advertiser Verification – and follow the directions. Note that we have had a couple of clients mistakenly select “Yes” in the screenshot below, which has caused problems. You need to select “No.”
To be verified, organizations will need to submit one of the following documents:
- Any document, notice, or letter either issued or stamped by the IRS that states the name of your organization. Examples include CP575, 147C, CP299, 988, 937, 1050, 5822, etc.
- Forms submitted to the IRS – but only if the form is available on the IRS website, such as Forms 8871 and 990. Political organizations and Tax Exempt Organizations can find additional submission info on the IRS website.
- Certificate of Business Incorporation issued by the state in which you conduct business that features your organization’s name.
- The most recent SEC filing (e.g., 10-K, 10-Q, or 8-K forms) stating your organization’s name.
- Business credit reports stating your organization’s name from Experian, Equifax, TransUnion, or Dun & Bradstreet.
Organizations may also provide their Employer Identification Number.
Individuals and authorized representatives must submit a government-issued photo ID as part of the verification program, including:
- State ID
- Driver’s license
- Permanent resident card or Green card
Verification is only as valid as the party doing the verifying. When in doubt, secure the services of a marketing expert who can help you make the most of your marketing budget while helping you navigate uncharted digital waters.
Digital marketing pros can help you build authority organically, showcasing you as thought leaders in your field, without the need for checkmarks that are blue, purple, polka-dotted, or any other color of the rainbow.
Questions? We’re always available to chat.