What is an expat?
An expatriate, or expat, is an individual living and working in a country that is not his or her country of citizenship. It is usually for work reasons, and is likely to be a temporary arrangement.
There are huge numbers of expats travelling to the US for work each year, and come from all corners of the globe. It is thus important to understand their behaviour, likes and dislikes before businesses can engage with them and target them successfully.
Behaviour of an expat
Understanding expat behaviours will allow businesses to better target US expats.
Trends on US expats
Let’s find out what some of these behaviours are:
1. Choice of housing
First, two of the most popular expat destinations in the United States include New York City and Los Angeles. This is not surprising, given their size and international acclaim.
In New York City, it is common for an expat to rent a studio apartment, due to the high cost of rent in the city. Furthermore, New York City has one of the most expensive housing markets, so it is unlikely that they will purchase a house.
The same goes for Los Angeles, where buying a house is extremely costly. Thus, expats are very likely to rent an apartment. They might also choose to rent a place further from the city, such that the rent will not take such a toll on their finances.
2. Leisure activities
New York City is often referred to as the “cultural capital of the world” and is home to some of the biggest artistic movements and productions of the arts, theatre and music. So, it is no surprise that expats spend their leisure time immersing themselves in the arts and culture that New York has to offer.
On the other hand, Los Angeles has a diverse cultural and artistic scene, and is home to many great museums, and a great variety of dining options. Its cultural diversity means that many expats spend their time hanging out in the various restaurants and bars.
Many expats send their children to USA’s excellent public schools. Public schools generally give priority to families living in the school’s zoning area, so that is something that expats take into consideration when choosing a home.
4. Jobs they usually take on
According to ZipRecruiter, the average annual salary expat jobs in the US is around $111,957 a year, or $9,330 a month. The cities where expat salaries go above the national average include San Mateo, CA, Berkeley, CA and Daly City.
Most expats also carry out white collar jobs in the US, especially in industries like technology and engineering.
5. Channels used by expats in the US
Social media platforms
The US is a highly globalised country, and social media platforms thrive here. According to data from Statista, Facebook is the top social media site in the USA, with over 169 million users accessing it.
Instagram and Facebook Messenger are ranked as second and third respectively. Thus, companies who want to reach out to expats in the USA would find that social media marketing and running ads on Facebook and Instagram would be a good way to target the greatest number of expats.
Lastly, short-form video site TikTok is also rising in popularity, and may also be a worthy platform to consider when targeting expats in the US.
Media sites and blogs
Expats typically consume information from media sites and blogs. These can range from guides on what to do during the weekends to learning about the experiences of other expats.
In terms of news outlets and sites, The New York Times, The Daily Mail, and CNN are some of the biggest in the US, and expats likely consume news from these outlets daily.
6. Expat communities in the US
Expat communities in the US are extremely diverse, since people come from all over the world to work there.
Some may attempt to meet other expats on sites like InterNations, which link different groups of people together. Since Facebook plays such a huge role in the social media scene in the US, expats may trawl through Facebook groups to find an expat community in their area.
Of course, since most expats go to the US for work, it is common to find them socialising with colleagues.
7. Marketing to expats in the US
As a provider of services to expats, it is important to understand the category and demographics your target audience falls into. This could range from young professionals to senior-level executives, who have very different wants and needs.
The first step to targeting your target group would most likely be via social media, since most people have accounts and utilise social media regularly. Since expats are typically new to the country, it is also important to bring value to them via your marketing efforts, and give them information which they are likely to find useful.
After understanding your target audience more deeply, it might also be worth considering hosting virtual or physical events to bring them together, which provides value to them, while marketing your products at the same time.
How Moovaz Can Help
In conclusion, with the growing opportunities in the expatriate market, enhancing your customer experience and targeting your clients accurately is more important than ever.
Moovaz is an end-to-end relocation platform that eases the mobility of global citizens. Partner with us today to increase your reach to the expat community!