4 Common Ways to Do Radio Advertising THE WRONG WAY

radio advertisingHere are some great ways to make sure your radio advertising does NOT work for you…

1.  “Let’s try it for a couple of weeks and see if it works.”  

If you’re going to do this, it better be a Help Wanted or a Sale ad and you better have about 8 to 10 ads running a day. Radio’s big strength is constant, consistent brand building. And be prepared not to be completely Wowed for 2 to 6 months. And then… plan to be elated at the end of Year 1.

BUT… that’s ONLY if we take a tedious, creative, and intelligent approach to the message we’re putting out to the public. My specialty is figuring out what we need to say in your ads so your radio advertising works… and you grow because of it.

2.  “We just want a straightforward Radio Ad with the facts.”  

I heard this one the other day. He’s a fairly new HR guy. They’re doing some Help Wanted advertising. This local company has been using radio for recruitment advertising with me for about 8 years now. And it’s worked for them because we’re bold and creative in their radio ads. But the new guy just wants something “straightforward”. And we’re changing the ads from 60 seconds to 30 seconds. Ok, I’ll give him a break. He’s new. He doesn’t know that we went through this trial and error phase 8 years ago. The fact is… people like to be entertained. Especially, when they’re listening to the Radio… because that’s why they turned it on in the first place. So, if we weave a persuasive message into an entertaining and Non-Ignorable radio spot, it’s a win. It gets heard more often. It gets remembered more often. Radio listeners get weary of radio ads aimed only at their logic. When you add emotion and entertainment, that’s when the real results show themselves.

3.  Not taking your competition into account.  

If you create a radio campaign without “strategy” in mind, your ads won’t work as hard as they could for you. So, you have to think about how you compare with your competition. Where are they strong? Where are you strong, where they are not? We need to “open a wedge” where you stand above your competitors. We need to highlight the points where you shine. And those points need to be things that people really care about.

For example, I have a banking client who’s on a consistent yearly radio plan. They’re a smaller bank with multiple locations that 1) answers the phone when you call, 2) is small enough where the employees know who you are, and 3) cares more for the individual. Our strategy is to highlight the shortcomings of the big banks – like customer service and always having to wrestle with automated phone systems… and then explain why you’ll be happier at a smaller bank. We’re using humor and also reminding people of how it used to be and that they can have that level of service again. We’re also going to possibly incorporate some good testimonial ads into that mix of humorous ads very soon. At least, that’s my vision. Getting customer testimonials isn’t always easy.

If we just gave a laundry list of services and cliché lines about customer service and a knowledgeable staff, the ads would never get any attention. They would be ignored. And the radio advertising wouldn’t work.  No matter where you advertise, it’s ALL about the message and the strategy within your ads. And radio advertising is one of the best places to create messages that have a huge impact with listeners.  Why?  Because of the massive range of creative angles, “theatre of the mind”, the power of sound, and versatility.

4.  Getting too technical about demographics and the radio stations you choose.

Most radio stations would work for a good, local branding campaign. Yes, some might have a few more listeners that seem to be in your “wheelhouse” of the demographics you’re looking for… but barely. Don’t try splitting hairs.

Consider a demographic range for many radio stations… 18 to 35… 25 to 45… 35 to 60+. That’s a pretty big range. You know why? Because you can never tell what kind of music someone enjoys. Or whether they prefer Talk Radio over a station that plays music. And most people have 2 to 4 favorite radio stations. There’s not one radio station, TV station, newspaper, magazine, website, or social media channel that OWNS an audience. People are people. All you have to do is make sure you’re saying something in your ads that people might actually care about. THAT is when your advertising will start working. It’s not about WHERE you advertise. It’s about what you SAY in your ads. I don’t mean to be a broken record about that (well maybe I do), but it’s the most important thing that business owners and “marketing people” need to understand. Your advertising results depend on it.

Radio just happens to be one of the best mediums in order to place your well-crafted, entertaining, and engaging advertising message.  Why?  Because it’s a “friend”.  It’s a place we turn to for information and entertainment.  Every day.  And 90+% of people listen every single week.

YES… I could keep going with reasons to do radio wrong… these just happen to come up a lot in my many years of experience in the local advertising arena.

Duane Christensen

9 Yards Marketing

duane@9yards-marketing.com

Your Radio Ad is the Easiest Place to Paint a Picture

I was always the calf pusher.

I grew up on a farm. We raised some cattle. So, when we needed to vaccinate or get ready to wean the little calves, all of them would have to be run through the cattle chute one at a time to get their shots, brands, etc. And in order for that to happen, one person is in charge of “pushing” calves up the chute until they are locked into the headgate at the front. I was always the calf pusher.

And it’s always HOT, dry, and dusty on those days. The kind of hot where you can SEE the HOT in the horizon. All wavy and blurry. The kind of hot that makes flies hot, too, and they just want to stick to your sweaty face and catch a ride to wherever you’re going.

Did you know… that little calves have lightning quick back legs? And if you startle them just right… your shin or upper thigh is going to get a good pummeling. Over and over until all 150 calves have all gone through the chute. Probably 4 to 6 hours of being terrified of when the next “ninja calf kick” is coming at you. I always said I should have worn shin guards, but never did.

I remember one day, when we finished up helping our neighbor, everyone went back to the barn where there was a special room with an old fat fridge in it. All the guys were cracking open some Budweisers, except me. I was 13. Then, my neighbor said, “Hey Bud (he called me Bud), wanna drink?” I said sure, I’ll try it. He gave me my own CAN!!! My own beautiful can of Budweiser heavy with the beads of sweat running down the sides!

And to this day… I can still picture that moment perfectly. It wasn’t about the beer. It was about the whole scenario that played out. It was about my neighbor knowing that I worked my tail off that day… and that I deserved my own can of suds.

And now, I’m an alcoholic. Just kidding! 🙂

Did you know that radio commercials are potentially the best place to paint a picture? And when you tell stories in your radio ads that use words that people can see in their head… then, you’re helping them see things… and your radio ad comes to life.

When I hear radio advertising that doesn’t use “picture words” and it’s just full of adjectives or words like “mouthwatering” (if it’s a restaurant ad) or other feely fluff words, then, you’re missing out on making people “see” what you want them to see. Once you start telling stories in your radio commercials that people can see… then, they get remembered. Once you start making people feel good and remembering you… then come the new customers.

Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

9 Yards Marketing

duane@9yards-marketing.com

How To Make Your Advertising Work

First… HOW do you measure advertising? If you’re measuring by asking people… they don’t actually have the best memories when it comes to remember something like that. Our brains aren’t wired to retain information like that. They might give you an answer, but they’re just trying to be helpful. If you’re measuring your advertising with online reports or google analytics, there are too many different ways to look at all the data to determine what’s good and what isn’t. There’s impressions, CTR, TVR, bounce rates, page views, etc. And you can spin the numbers to look however you want them to.

I suggest you measure your advertising by your Sales. Or store traffic, phone calls, etc. NOT, by trusting people to remember which ONE piece of marketing from you actually caused them to walk into your store.

HOW are you advertising? Are you advertising to get immediate results? Then, you better have a low-ball offer or something special that would make someone act NOW. And if you’re constantly doing that, you’re missing out on a lot of profits, I’m assuming.

If you’re advertising to build your brand and get people to remember you when they need you, then someone might actually experience hundreds of your ads before they’re actually ready to buy. And if you’ve made a bigger IMPRESSION on them than your competitors with your ads… your chances are pretty good that you get a shot at their business.

The vast majority of local businesses will benefit from using a long-term, consistent approach with their advertising.

But… that word “IMPRESSION” is what makes all the difference.

All “ad impressions” are NOT created equal.

The digital advertising world throws around the word impressions, but they’re just talking about getting your digital ad in front of people. It has no relation to whether the ad actually “impressed” anyone.

A million ad impressions from Ads that don’t engage people… is no more valuable than 5 ad impressions that didn’t engage people.

In order to make your advertising work, you must ENGAGE your prospect. You have to get their attention and then impress upon them WHY they should choose your business instead of your many competitors. Do your ads do that? If they don’t… then you need to change your advertising creative to make sure they do. If you don’t have anything special to say to people to make them want to do business with YOU instead of your COMPETITION… then you better figure out how to make yourself special and stand out from competitors.

Your competitors need to STEAL customers from you and everyone else in order to grow. And vice-versa. If competition is fierce for you… then, you have to work that much harder to give your customers a better experience. You also have to find a better marketing person to help you convey a message to the public that actually IMPRESSES and ENGAGES people. If your advertising doesn’t do that, you’re wasting your money. If your advertising is just “awareness” (who, what, when, where – but you left out the WHY)… then you’ll be disappointed with your advertising if you’re in a very competitive market.

If you’re looking to grow your share of the business being done in your market, then you need to create advertising that engages and reaches more people. Radio has that power. The power of sound has so much more “sticking power” than a quick visual.

The radio advertising plans that work wonders for good, local businesses, are the ones that are consistent all year long. Constantly telling different stories to listeners to help win their hearts. Can you predict when someone will need you? Nope. That’s why winning hearts and minds over time, ensuring that they’ll remember YOU when they need you, is the best kind of local advertising you can buy.

Here are 3 things that are needed in your radio ads to make them fly like eagles:

  1. Attention Grabber – People are busy. A bazillion things going on all of the time. You need to slap people out of whatever they’re doing or thinking. You need to SURPRISE them.
  2. Relevance – make sure what you’re saying is important to your prospect.
  3. Credibility – trustworthiness, “believability”, integrity

BONUS #4 ingredient: ENTERTAINMENT – If you can get people to look forward to hearing your next ad… you just won the “marketing lottery”!

Confusion in the marketing world runs rampant. Do this, do that. Nope… now do this. Anyone ever told you that you HAVE to do some kind of advertising? Or “If you’re not advertising here… your business will fail.” ??? There’s no ONE place you have to advertise. But I do know what you NEED in order to make advertising work.

It’s definitely not where you advertise… it’s what you SAY in your advertising that makes all the difference. And there actually are a few places you can advertise that have advantages over others depending on what you’re trying to make happen.

So… what are YOU trying to make happen?

Duane Christensen

9 Yards Marketing (click to visit my website and see what I can do for you)

duane@9yards-marketing.com

Sioux Falls, SD

My GIFs and Why I Use Them #4

Here is Round #4 of the GIFs I use in emails once in a while to get my point across a little more effectively or just to give someone a laugh. 🙂

Just use this GIF instead of typing, “Wow, that’s awesome!” And who doesn’t love Tommy Boy?

Who gags better than Jim Carrey in Dumb & Dumber?! And you’ll come across at least one reason to send a “gag GIF” over the next few days. Like the addition of 5 new Zoom meetings this week, or a new technology we have to learn because it will make our work lives “easier”. Ha.

And this is when someone requests some task or project from me… and I’m going to get it done PRONTO… and happy to do it!

Nick Cage. Long hair. 5 o’clock shadow. White tank. And a WINK. This is usually a “You’re Welcome” GIF to guys that are cool enough for it. 😎

Have a fresh Spring day! 🌷

Duane Christensen

Marketing Dude in Sioux Falls, SD

My GIFs and Why I Use Them #3

Here is Round #3 of the GIFs I use in emails once in a while to get my point across a little more effectively or just to give someone a laugh. 🙂

Spongebob happy pants is maybe for someone who might not be “on the same page” as me in the “what’s funny” department. Keepin’ it simple and fun.

But then… let’s just follow it up with a little Spongebob snarky pants for those who will appreciate it. A sense of humor is a must for your recipient. Thick skin. I usually send this in reply to a mass email from a coworker (with a sense of humor) who lets people know they’ll be out of the office the next few days. 😂 OR maybe include it in a reply to your boss after she sends you another email of no value whatsoever.

Alright… enough with the cartoons. This one just gets a laugh every time. When you’ve had it with dumbasses. Harsh, right? Or not harsh enough? 😉 I just can’t. Nope. Not doing it. See you on the dark side. I’m done.

This is when I need to let some dude know that I’m not playing around. Or am I? I’d really just like them to ponder on that for a bit. And you can’t ever go wrong with an Inigo Montoya quote from The Princess Bride.

Have a groovy day! ☮

Duane Christensen

Marketing Dude in Sioux Falls, SD

Ain’t Nothin’ Easy

I was going through some old marketing notes… and found something that I had written down and tore out of a journal-type notebook. Jagged edges, scribbles on it, but nothing written about WHY I wrote it or WHERE it came from. But I’m going to share it with you in a moment.

Things are a little uncertain right now with the Covid-19 virus… but there are some businesses out there who are innovating and putting their thinking caps on. There are categories that are seeing an increase in business. BUT a lot of local businesses are either way down, barely breaking even, or losing money. Those business owners aren’t sleeping well. They’re wondering if they can pay their employees or even keep their doors open. They’re concerned for their families. Their future.

The anxiety is high in this group of small business owners. It’s taking its toll on them. If you know someone like this, just reach out to them and ask, “How are you?” Don’t be afraid of the answer, just get them talking. You CARE about them, so, don’t go silent when they need someone to listen and help them get a few things off their chest. They’ll appreciate you so much!

Ok, so here’s the chicken scratches I found in a pile of marketing notes the other day…….

Ain’t Nothin’ Easy when it comes to good marketing these days.

Sure it’s EASY to spend money.

It’s EASY to place an Ad buy.

It’s EASY to try out the newest social media marketing.

It’s EASY to buy some ads on the new radio station, or the new billboard, the new bus bench, the new magazine, the new TV show, and on and on.

But it’s HARD to make advertising work. It’s hard and time-consuming to figure out what to say to consumers that will change perceptions and move them closer to buying from YOU and not from your competition.

Seth Godin said, “You’re going to need to go uphill in order to go downhill. The hard work is digging deeper than usual on the uphills – that’s the best chance you have to earn a downhill later.”

Making your marketing WORK… requires YOU to dig deeper.

Making your marketing WORK… requires YOUR MARKETING PERSON to dig deeper.

AND AT TIMES LIKE THIS… digging deeper is critical. It could possibly be life or death for your business.

At Results Radio, we don’t specialize in selling you radio, we specialize in making your radio advertising work. And keep working. And keeping your business growing. That’s what we do. Whether you need me or my team NOW… or in a few months from now, we’re ready to dig deep.

In the meantime, I would recommend that you find a few people to chat with about your situation. People who might not even always agree with you… but you appreciate their different perspective, ideas, creativity, opinions, etc. People who aren’t afraid to challenge you and make you DIG DEEPER…

…….

…….

……..

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Cuz the future could quite possibly be brighter than we could have ever imagined….

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls, SD

duanechristensen1@gmail.com

My GIFs and Why I Use Them #2

Here is Round #2 of the GIFs I use in emails once in a while to get my point across a little more effectively or just to give someone a laugh. 🙂

This here can be taken 2 ways. I sincerely applaud you… or I’m being a smartass and you’ll know it when I’m using it in this manner. 🙂

The next two are essential. They are “Giddyup” GIFs. The Kramer giddyup is for when a more aggressive giddyup is needed. You’ll see what I mean here…

This particular giddyup almost has a feminine feel to it. Subtle. More of a congratulatory giddyup. Like… yeah… we’re awesome…

Whoops… I was almost going to slip a “Ken Jeong from the Hangover when they’re in the desert” GIF in here. We’ll skip that one and keep this post PG-13. But that one is perfect for old buddies / good friends who have a sense of humor.

I like the old Star Wars. And the characters. Especially Han Solo. Cuz he’s cool as shit. And hilarious. Or am I talking about Indiana Jones? Doesn’t matter. This Han Solo slide is for when I amaze the crap out of someone and do something that most people can’t do. It happens a lot. Or at least it does in my brain. 😉

That’s all for today. Kisses. ❤

Duane Christensen

Marketing Dude in Sioux Falls, SD

We Need Some Normalcy

All I’m sharing with you today are some of my GIFs that I put into select emails to friends, coworkers, and clients when I want to emphasize a particular emotion. These are just some of my faves that I’ve collected over the years. 🙂 This is an attempt to lighten the mood and give you something normal / not normal.

For when I’m a little frustrated, or want to call BS on something…

And I like Arnold.

When I know I’m about to make something really big or exciting happen. When I’m jumping in to take care of business…

I appreciate Blake’s “getrdone” attitude and humor.

There are times I email a client telling them I have an idea, but it’s not quite fully baked yet. So, I tell them I’m still researching, writing, and thinking, but to stay tuned…

Zach G!

Ah, crazy eyes. This is for when a group of you just witnessed or were emailed something that is verging on “off the rocker” or maybe some nervous tension…

Good for a few other applications as well.

That’s all for today. This is the first installment of a 4 or 5-part series. MORE TOMORROW. I have a slug of useful GIFs to share that can be included in some of your future emails.

Of course, you need to know when it’s appropriate and when it’s not. But we’re all professionals and can figure that out. Yes. That’s right. I trust you. Isn’t it nice to be trusted? Whole other issue. Sorry. Have a great day!!! 🙂

Top 6 Clues That You Are Wasting Your Ad Budget

#1  You think that the more places you advertise, the better your advertising results.  You equate good advertising with “reach”.  You feel that if you advertise in many different mediums, you’re reaching more people. The problem is, you’re probably not reaching that many more people since we all watch, read, and listen to multiple different mediums, not just one. By spreading your budget too thin across too many ad mediums, you’re not putting your ad message in front of people enough times to make an impact and be remembered by them. Too much “reach”, far too little “frequency”.  You’re trying to reach 100% of the people, but you’re only convincing them 10% of the way. 

​#2  Your advertising message has no impact on the audience you’re trying to convince to do business with you.  You think that results come from the advertising medium you choose.  That couldn’t be farther from the truth.  Your advertising will only work when the words you convey to an audience are relevant, entertaining, and memorable. If your ad message doesn’t resonate and get attention, then your advertising won’t work, no matter where you place your ads.

#3  You believe that anything “visual” is the best way to advertise.  The truth about advertising effectiveness is that sound is more easily remembered than visuals.  It all has to do with how our brains our wired.  All of those big national companies with huge budgets that moved the majority of their dollars from TV and Radio into online advertising are finding out that it was a big mistake.  Is there a place for online advertising?  Of course.  But the bigger chunk of your advertising budget should be put into “sound media”… and the online or “visual only” should be a support media for the “sound media”.  There is way too much money being wasted on the new and shiny things in advertising.  But that is happening mainly because those advertisers haven’t figured out how to get consistent advertising results.  So, you’ll try anything hoping that something will stick… instead of getting to the bottom of how to make advertising actually work.

#4  Your advertisements and marketing (even your social media) only talk about what you do and who you are… instead of talking about what your products and services do for your customers.  Your customer doesn’t care about you.  They don’t.  They only care about what you do for THEM.  So, your ads must talk about the benefits of doing business with you.  How can you solve their problem?  How can you improve their life?  Also… why should they buy from you instead of your competition?  You want your prospective new customer to subconsciously think that they’d be making a mistake if they didn’t buy from you.  And that’s not done by presenting them a laundry list of your products and/or services.   When your ad message only conveys “who, what, and where” you are… then, you’re allowing people to dismiss your ad completely.  It’s not memorable.  It won’t move someone closer to doing business with you.

#5  You’re too “logical” with your ads.  The questions you should ask yourself when creating or evaluating your ad message is “Does this evoke emotion in people?  Will they ‘feel’ something?”  Emotion is the key.  If you don’t “move” people in your ads, then, they’ll never be as powerful as they could be.  Do you know what causes people to listen and remember what you’ve told them?  Tell them a story.  And that’s what most of your advertising should be doing.  Put your ad in story form and it will make a much bigger impact.

#6  You only think short-term with your advertising instead of long-term.  If you only advertise for brief periods, or only for special events and sales, you’re missing out on the bigger portion of the population.  Think about how many people need you right now.  Not very many.  So, as soon as your ad is done, you’re easily forgotten or not even considered because most people weren’t currently in the market for your product or service.  How long do you plan on being in business?  Then, you have to think long-term.  Remind people frequently and consistently with a strong ad message and a story… and guess who people will automatically think of when they NEED what you offer?  YOU.  That’s the power of branding.  When you “stamp” your business name and “what you stand for” on the brains of the public with emotional messages that make people like and trust you before they even meet you… you’ll win this game of marketing by a landslide.

Duane Christensen

Your Marketing & Advertising Friend

605-940-7984

duanechristensen1@gmail.com

Image by Intellectual from Pixabay

Why Radio Advertising?

I tell people all the time… if there was a better media to use to advertise your local retail or service business… I’d go work for them.

I had a conversation with someone recently who was concerned about the future of Radio. He was wondering about it because he doesn’t listen to “regular radio” as much any more. But he’s a business owner. Business owners don’t listen to AM/FM Radio like the average consumer does. They have too many shoes, chainsaws, and hammers to juggle every day. The time to listen is limited for them.

As long as the radio industry is proactive with technology and keeping live and local DJs… Radio will be fine. After all… approximately 89 to 91% of adults listen to AM/FM Radio every week.

Some feel that Spotify or Pandora might be stealing a lot of listening time from Radio. But that’s just a perception, not reality……..

The audience share of AM/FM Radio is actually 8x bigger than Pandora and Spotify combined.*

If you’re a business owner, you have to understand that as long as there’s still a FREE option for good music, interactive and entertaining DJs, local news and event info… there’s always going to be a big audience for AM/FM Radio.

Now, that we have that out of the way, I want you to think about what the biggest, most successful brands on the planet do to advertise. It’s all about reach. Reaching the masses. They’re discovering that narrowing their target audience by moving more dollars into targeted, digital advertising was a big mistake. They’re starting to understand that the reason they used mass media from the beginning was because the more people who know about you, directly translates into more customers and more sales.

And why local radio for advertising? Remember? Radio reaches approximately 90% of adults. But the best reason is because radio is intrusive. Meaning you don’t have to do anything to hear them. They’re just there. And you can move or shut your eyes, but you can’t close your ears.

All you have to do is say something in your radio advertising that people would care enough to listen to. And that’s our specialty at Results Radio Townsquare Media. The message. We know how to create ads that get heard and remembered.

It doesn’t matter if you’re advertising on the biggest radio station in town… if your ads don’t cut the mustard, you’ll be unhappy with the results. We’ve acquired a certain set of skills here that can take an average advertising strategy and plan… and turn it into something that has horsepower. Or we can start from scratch and bring something to you that will have traction from the get-go.

The list of our happy clients is pretty extensive. If you’d ever like to speak with any one of them about their experience with us… let me know.

I’m confident that Radio has a bright future, and our radio clients can rest a little easier because of that. This is still the best local advertising medium to build a great brand in my opinion, and it also helps that I work for a great company that is still doing things right. Otherwise, I’d go work for someone else.

That’s all for now. Happy New Year!

Duane Christensen

9 Yards Marketing

Sioux Falls, SD

*Westwood One

Working Fast

Quick story. I’m having the exterior of my house painted. They’re on Day 2. And they should finish up today. BUT… it’s gonna be HOT. Hot hot. So, when they got here this morning, I opened up the window of my office and said, “I bet you’re gonna work fast so you can be done before it gets too hot.”

And I wasn’t trying to imply to them that they should bust their ass, so my house could be finished. I was just kind of feeling bad that they were going to be stuck outside on such a wicked hot day.

But the owner, Dana, said to me…

“I hear ya, but it’s hard to work fast.”

I stopped and thought about that.

He’s a painter. He’s working on the trim today. There’s some delicate work. If he rushes… then the quality suffers.

There’s “hustle” and then there’s “rushing”. There’s a difference. If I rush through any process of creating great ads for my clients… or skip parts of the sales process… then, the end result suffers. So, yes, sometimes it’s hard to work fast… especially when you’re in the good habit of doing the best work for your customers that you can. Which ensures that some day you’ll get a referral from that happy customer.

Here’s another quote – I think I heard it in the movie “Shooter”…

“Slow is smooth and smooth is fast.”

Slow doesn’t have to mean turtle-slow or sloth-slow. It can also mean “smooth-slow”. And isn’t “Smooth” something you’d like to be?

There are many times that I need to hustle. And that just means putting a little extra giddyup in my step and staying focused on my task at hand… and when that’s done, starting my next task. And the next. But I don’t rush something that shouldn’t be rushed. Because then the work suffers. When you can see the bigger picture, “smooth” and “hustle” will always bring you greater success in the long run versus just working fast just to get something off your plate.

Maybe you have employees and you wish them to work a little faster. It might not be “fast” that you want out of them. They might just need to quit with excessive “Lolly-gagging”. Or maybe they need more focus and direction. Don’t assume that faster work means more money for the company. Because if work suffers from too much “fast”… then, your customers will “smoothly” never be repeat customers.

We’ve hired our painter multiple times and referred him to others. And we’ll keep hiring him when we need his unique kind of “smoothness”.

Have a groovy day!

Duane Christensen

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Image by Robert Balog from Pixabay