Katz: Tax Prep Services Still Get Big Returns From Radio Ads


With less than two weeks left until tax day, tax preparation services are turning to radio advertising for its broad reach, diverse audience, and local impact to connect with clients. While this isn’t new, data shows the tax prep/radio bond is only growing stronger.

A prominent Tax Prep Service embarked on a 14-week radio campaign with Katz Radio Group, spanning over 70 markets and involving more than 100 stations, using a blend of 90-second features, 30-second brand messages, and 15-second spots. Utilizing Katz Analytics’ insights, the campaign’s influence on web traffic was analyzed, revealing this comprehensive campaign led to a surge in web sessions, with more than 870,000 attributed to the radio efforts, marking an 11% increase in site visits.

The analysis highlighted both the efficacy of long and short ad formats. Ninety-second spots offering expert tax tips delivered by local personalities stood out for their engagement, driving an average of 34 web sessions per airing – 64% above the campaign’s average.

Meanwhile, the 15-second calls to action proved exceptionally potent, accounting for 57% of the radio-attributed site visits despite comprising only 46% of the total radio spots aired.

Katz’s findings support five similar studies by Pierre Bouvard and the Cumulus Media/Westwood One Audio Active Group in 2023 to evaluate the impact of AM/FM radio advertising on tax preparation services. 

The findings indicated that AM/FM radio listeners are more inclined to utilize tax preparation services, both online and onsite, than those who primarily watch television. Notably, there was a heightened brand awareness among heavy AM/FM radio listeners compared to the broader audience.

Similarly, the ads drove sizeable web traffic, especially when the brand name was mentioned early and frequently within the advertisement. This tactic was particularly beneficial in driving web visits at the start of the tax season. The data also showed that web interactions were highest on Mondays, tapering off through the week, with News/Talk and Sports radio formats being most effective in generating web sessions.

Physical visits to tax preparation offices saw a significant increase in March and April, particularly in regions with substantial AM/FM radio advertising. These findings underscore the pivotal role of AM/FM radio in enhancing engagement and awareness for tax preparation services.


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