Although most news outlets say they strive to be as objective and bias-free in their reporting as possible, the opposite is often true. In most cases, the article’s author and the news outlet they write for will have a certain opinion on the topic they’re reporting on. Often, their sentiment can be picked up straight away from just reading the headline.
Through sentiment analysis, one can get to the heart of the opinions behind news headlines. This type of analysis can benefit scholars seeking to analyze the coverage of a certain topic, but also business owners trying to figure out how the media talk about their brand.
But how does sentiment analysis of news headlines work? And why is it such an important yet often overlooked tool for business?
These questions, and more, will be answered in the short article below. But first things first: What is sentiment analysis?
What is Sentiment Analysis?
Sentiment analysis is the process of analyzing (often large) data sets to identify the sentiment expressed in pieces of text (such as news headlines) regarding a product, topic, person, etc.
The outcome of sentiment analysis will reflect whether the body of text talks about the subject matter in a negative, neutral, or positive manner.
For example, if one would take a hundred news headlines about a skincare product and 83 of them use wordings such as “good,” “effective,” and “potent”, the conclusion of the sentiment analysis will likely be that the sentiment towards this product in news headlines is positive.
Why do Businesses use Sentiment Analysis?
There are many ways in which sentiment analysis can help a business aside from news headline analysis.
Basically, in any place where a brand is mentioned or discussed, the business can benefit from performing a sentiment analysis to identify the general sentiment behind the mention or discussion.
Here are Three Examples of How Sentiment Analysis Can Benefit a Business
1. Know What Customers are Saying About a Brand
This is one of the most commonly used applications of sentiment analysis and it can be applied across a wide range of media.
For example, a business can gather thousands of customer reviews (from review sites such as Trustpilot) and perform sentiment analysis to not only determine whether customers like or dislike the product but to find out what aspects of the product they do or don’t like and what sentiments they express towards the product.
This helps a business understand their customer better, which in turn helps the marketing team market the business’ product better.
For instance, if thousands of positive customer reviews state they “feel like new” after using a certain skincare product, the marketing team can insert the phrase “feel like new” inside their next marketing campaign to speak directly to the customer using their own wording.
2. Manage Brand Reputation Better
Of course, sentiment analysis may also reveal a negative sentiment towards the brand or a certain aspect of the brand. Without sentiment analysis, the company might have never picked up on this.
Once the company knows, they can adjust their product or marketing strategy accordingly to turn the negative sentiment into a positive one.
3. Use the Same Trick on the Competitors
Just like analyzing customer sentiment towards their own product can benefit a business’ strategy moving forward, so can reviewing the sentiment towards the competitor.
How does the brand’s customer approval stack up against the competition’s? A company can learn from its position in the landscape and adjust its strategy (and product pricing) accordingly.
Sentiment Analysis for News Headlines
Customers are at the heart of a business, so analyzing their sentiment is incredibly important. But an important area that’s still often overlooked by businesses is the portrayal of a brand in the media by news outlets.
After all, (potential) customers will read those news outlets. If the sentiment towards a brand is negative, they will be less inclined to buy from that brand. That’s why sentiment analysis for news headlines is of vital importance to any business.
So how can a business gather news headline data for sentiment analysis?
How Sentiment Analysis of News Headlines Works
Sentiment analysis uses methods such as natural language processing (NLP) to automatically identify and categorize words and phrases used in news headlines.
But before this analysis can be performed, the relevant data needs to be gathered. The most popular source for this kind of data is Google News, as it’s a news aggregator that collects articles from news outlets across the web.
Through the use of a Google News API web scraper, one can quickly and automatically gather large amounts of data from Google News. The scraper goes through Google News results and extracts any relevant articles, for example, the ones that contain the business’ brand name. For instance, SERPMaster offers Google News API that can do exactly that!
Once it has gathered all the relevant articles that mention the brand’s name, the business can perform a sentiment analysis on this data set to identify the reputation of their brand in news headlines.
By using such web scraping techniques to automatically gather and analyze news headlines, businesses can gain valuable insights into the reputation of their brand in the media. This, in turn, can help them market their brand better and improve the general sentiment towards their brand.