Father and son Jim and Nicoli Holm launched their company Agoragate about a year ago to support independent insurance agents in a world where large insurance companies dominate consumer awareness through massive marketing and advertising spends.
Their flagship product, Enhance Insurance, went live shortly after to help level the online playing field.
The foundation for Enhance Insurance’s system is a vast array of niche content generation that can achieve high-ranking results on search engines and capture eyeballs of interested users. To do this, Agoragate assembled a staff of 22 writers to produce quality, SEO-friendly information answering any questions that might confront a person with insurance needs. The result is a network of useful information, with every article reviewed and approved by founder and president Jim Holm, who has been in the industry for over 40 years.
This is where Enhance’s service to independent agents come into play. On every informational page, users will find a prominently displayed window featuring a local insurance agent, determined regionally by the user’s IP address. This window includes some brief contact information and a link to a profile, positioning the agent as a sponsor for the page and a local, trusted authority that can be easily reached.
“We’re trying to pool resources,” says Vice President Nicoli Holm. “Along with that same mindset is having all these agents across the country benefit from every page of content that we post. Everyone’s tied to the same system, everyone has their own unique customizable biography or profile page, but they’re all linked to all of the same content.”
Enhance’s offering is divided into six product lines (auto, home, life, health, long-term care and commercial), and an independent agent can subscribe under one product line and in one zip code for a set annual fee. This will get the agent exposure any time a person seeks out related content in their region, and additional product lines and zip codes can be purchased as well. As of today, more than 200 agents, covering 32 states, are subscribed to the service, which is supported and endorsed by the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents.
The Enhance Insurance platform was built in partnership with St. Paul-based Three Deep Marketing and their online lead generation software Crossfuse. Nicoli says that team up with Three Deep and their technology was a key breakthrough for the business.
“It was a great relationship from the beginning,” he says. “It was almost as if we were pitching the same idea to each other, as we had ours boiled down to what we thought was a pretty good plan and their system mirrored it exactly.”
He calls Crossfuse a “proven model,” noting that Three Deep had already been utilizing it for a similar service in the contractor business.
The treacherous nature of marketing insurance online will make Enhance’s platform a necessity over time, says Nicoli, adding as an example that the pay-per-click rate for auto insurance is currently somewhere around $60.
“It’s just a really competitive industry and the independent agent is not going to be able to go at it on their own without a resource like ours.”