Yesterday rocked the house. April 1st has had some memorable fun in the past few years but yesterday took the cake for me. Especially Mashable’s joke that was brought to you in both text and video by the hilarious Conan O’Brien.

The post was essentially Conan O’Brien claiming he was taking over Mashable. Evidently he called Pete Cashmore at home, and offered $3,500 for the site. In the amazing style of O’Brien he was over the top and believable all at once. He then followed up 11 hours later with a spoof Apple iTV scoop.

Why did this work for Mashable? Because there is a cross demographic of Mashable readers and Conan O’Brien fans. Would it have worked for No.

So while you are flipping through all the April 1st stories you missed by actually enjoying your weekend keep in mind that the next April 1st is only 364 days away. That, and there is *always* an opportunity to cross promote your business.

Cross promotion shouldn’t be limited to special events. In fact, I want you to consider your marketing like a screenplay. Each branding message its own character. With cross promotion you add depth and personality.

Ever wonder why you can’t get enough of shows like LOST or Game of Thrones? It’s the complicated nature of the characters. People are deep; your potential clients are deep. Let your branding message be deep.

By utilizing cross promotion you are speaking volumes about your product. Let’s look at Mashable’s April 1st joke again and think about what it told us:

~ They can give and take a joke.
~ They have a similar demographic as Conan O’Brien
~ Pete Cashmore is a pretty cool dude for letting this fly
~ Conan O’Brien is funny, personable and all the things we already knew about him – but now those qualities have rubbed off on Mashable. Nice!

Do you need to hire Conan O’Brien? No, but that would be cool. You have to find something that works for your brand, that will speak to your demographic. It doesn’t have to be funny, and it doesn’t have to cost money. It just has to add to your brand.

Have you ever heard the expression, “Never drink to be happy, only drink to be more happy?” Cross promoting stuff can only go viral if they make sense for your brand. And at the end of the day, who cares if something goes viral if its wrong? You want something that will get in front of the right people, at the right time. And sadly… Conan O’Brien does not always fit the bill.

Remember branding, marketing and all that comes down to strategy. So what do you have up your sleeve?